Tag Archives: scs

SWANA 2020 Evergreen Chapter Northwest Regional Symposium

October 13, 2020

Each spring the Washington, Oregon and British Columbia chapters hold a joint Northwest Symposium.  This year’s Symposium will take place October 13-15 in Tulalip, Washington.

SCS Engineers never misses the opportunity to join other solid waste industry professionals from a wide variety of specialized fields. ldornWe look forward to seeing you at Booth 16.

The NW Regional Symposium is a great conference to exchange information and learn from technical experts, such as these speakers:

Michelle Leonard, Vice President & National Expert on Solid Waste Planning and Recycling
Food Recycling and Rescue – Los Angeles County’s Three-Pronged Approach

Ms. Leonard has over 30 years of experience in environmental consulting and project management, with an emphasis on Sustainable Materials Management, including solid waste management planning and facilities. She regularly shares her expertise with associations and communities interested in her work.


Shane Latimer, Ph.D., CSE, Project Director
Using Laser Technology to Control Birds at Landfills – Preliminary Results at a Southern Oregon Landfill

Dr. Shane Latimer, CSE, is an ecologist and an environmental planner with over 20 years’ experience in environmental assessment, planning and permitting. He specializes in projects that are often large, complex, or controversial, and involve a combination of land use, environmental permitting, and other constraints.


Tracie Onstad Bills, Senior Project Manager
Residential Food Waste Prevention Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM) Pilot Study

Ms. Onstad-Bills has over 20 years of materials management experience, including working for a hauler, a county government, and a non-profit; she also has over 10 years with materials management consulting firms. She has provided commercial sector materials flow assessments, green events project management, construction and demolition (C&D) research, and recycling and waste management technical support to government agencies and businesses.

Registration and Fee Information



Posted by Diane Samuels at 8:00 am
Tag Archives: scs

USEPA ADDS 172 PFAS Chemicals to EPCRA TRI Reporting Program

July 1, 2020

SCS periodically prepares Technical Bulletins to highlight items of interest to our clients and friends who have signed up to receive them.  We also publish these on our website at http://www.scsengineers.com/publications/technical-bulletins/.

Our most recent Bulletin summarizes the 2020 USEPA Adds 172 PFAS Chemicals to EPCRA TRI Reporting Program. The new PFAS rule went into effect on June 22, 2020. However, the rule requires PFAS to be included in TRI reports submitted for all 2020 calendar year activity (i.e., January 1 through December 31). The deadline for submitting the 2020 TRI reports is July 1, 2021.

TRI-Covered Industries include:

  • 212 Mining
  • 221 Utilities
  • 31 – 33 Manufacturing
  • All Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing (includes 1119, 1133, 2111, 4883, 5417, 8114)
  • 424 Merchant Wholesalers, Non-durable Goods
  • 425 Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents Brokers
  • 511, 512, 519 Publishing
  • 562 Hazardous Waste
  • Federal Facilities

SCS Engineers will continue to post timely information, resources, and presentations to keep you well informed. These include additional guidance, industry reaction, and webinars for our clients.

Contact http://www.scsengineers.com for an Environmental Engineer near you.






Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:01 am
Tag Archives: scs

Unwelcomed Nuisance – Leachate Seeps Below the Final Cover Geomembrane

June 29, 2020

Landfills located in areas with high precipitation usually experience leachate seeps on slopes. The location of leachate seeps varies, and the reason behind the seeps appearing on the slopes varies as well.

As long as the slope does not have its final cover, you can attempt to control leachate seeps no matter where the seep location. There are many remedies known to landfill operators for controlling seeps before the final cover, but leachate seeps below the final cover are not controllable. The reason is the seeps are out of reach, and you have no means to control or mitigate the situation. The only potential solution is a seep management system built under the final cover geomembrane at the time of final cover construction.

For landfills with slopes extending up to the top of the landfill without terraces, construct a leachate toe drain system (LTDS) at the toe of the slope adjacent to the landfill perimeter berm. The design will collect and convey liquids emanating from seeps further up on the slope (below the final cover geomembrane) to the leachate collection system. See Figure 1.

Figure 1: A typical design for the LTDS at the toe of the slope (SCS Engineers).

For landfills with terraces on the slope, construct LTDSs at every terrace. Best practices call for the location at the toe of the slope, above the terrace, the lowest point of that slope. Consequently, the terrace width prevents seep liquids from flowing further down the slope, and the LTDS at the terrace prevents the accumulation of leachate behind the final cover geomembrane at the interior line of the terrace. See Figure 2.

Figure 2: A typical design for the LTDS at a terrace (SCS Engineers).

At the lowest point of the terrace, locate a downspout to convey liquids to the leachate collection system at the bottom of the landfill. You will also need a LTDS at the toe of the slope adjacent to the landfill perimeter berm, as discussed above. You may connect the terrace downspouts to the LTDS located adjacent to the perimeter berm to drain the liquids collected at terraces.

To prevent erosion of fines by small streams of liquids flowing down the slope below the final cover geomembrane use this best practice. This design will prevent depressions forming in the top surface of the final cover. First, place a LTDS geocomposite panel from the source of any leachate seep that you identify on the slope right before the construction of the final cover. Connect the panel to the LTDS pipe-gravel burrito at the terrace or perimeter berm. This solution provides a preferential path for liquids coming out of the seep without causing erosion. See Figures 1 and 2.

Place the LTDS geocomposite below the LTDS burrito when simultaneously constructing the burrito and the LTDS geocomposite. When constructing the LTDS burrito ahead of time, place the LTDS geocomposite above the burrito later. In either case, the contact area between the LTDS burrito and the LTDS geocomposite must be free of soil, which could impede the free flow of liquids to the LTDS burrito.

SCS has a 20-year record of accomplishment solving leachate seeps below the final cover geomembrane. Feel free to contact our landfill designers for advice.


About the Author:  Ali Khatami, Ph.D., PE, LEP, CGC, is a Project Director and a Vice President of SCS Engineers. He is also our National Expert for Landfill Design and Construction Quality Assurance. He has nearly 40 years of research and professional experience in mechanical, structural, and civil engineering.

Learn more at Landfill Engineering







Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:01 am
Tag Archives: scs

Meet Dr. Gomathy Radhakrishna Iyer – SCS Engineers Young Professional

June 26, 2020

Dr. Gomathy Radhakrishna Iyer joined SCS Engineers in April 2019 as a Staff Professional working out of our Reston, Virginia office. She recently had the honor of delivering a presentation at the Global Waste Management Symposium in February. Learn more about Gomathy and her work as an engineer at SCS:

Dr. Gomathy Radhakrishna Iyer presenting at GWMS.


Tell us about your responsibilities as a Staff Engineer at SCS Engineers.

  • I work on our Title V projects as well as Semi-Annual and Annual reporting for Landfill Gas emissions. I also help manage a project for a county in Virginia, one of our major clients, where we analyze their leachate collection system, determine the leachate sources, and analyze the characteristics of the liquid that enters the system. I am also working on a landfill design as part of a phased development for a landfill expansion project.

What attracted you to work at SCS?

  • I earned my Bachelors in Civil Engineering, a Masters in Environmental Science & Technology, and completed my PhD in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Landfills. I wanted to continue what I learned through those three and a half years. I’ve always wanted to work in the landfill industry. Landfills are beautiful, and whenever I am on a landfill, there’s just positive energy there! I was trying to find a suitable position that lined up with my training. SCS is an industry leader in solid waste and landfills, so of course, I wanted to come work here!

What is your favorite part of working at SCS?

  • My favorite part about working at SCS is that I’m able to do what I’m passionate about every day. My job doesn’t feel like work at all. I don’t mind working on weekends to collect samples or work on a design or a report because I’m doing what I love! Another major reason I love working at SCS Engineers is my team. My team is like my family! I have a great supervisor who is also a great mentor to me. The team is always there to help each other, and our supervisor knows how to push us to meet our goals.

What do you feel is your greatest achievement/contribution at SCS?

  • In my first few months here, I was given the opportunity to manage a project for a county in Virginia to evaluate leachate treatment options based on the characteristics of their leachate. We turned in a great report. We hope to work on additional projects with them in the future.

What was your greatest challenge at SCS, and how did you overcome that?

  • I’m originally from India, so when I first started my career, I was a little intimidated by the language barrier and lifestyle differences. But everyone at SCS Engineers was so friendly and made it easier for me to adapt to the environment. It became much easier for me to speak to new people.

What advice do you have for students who have recently graduated and are entering the engineering field?

  • In this current COVID-19 era, the landfill industry is one of the best and most stable industries compared to other industries. Solid waste will always be produced and needs to be treated. We are an essential business. For anyone graduating now or in the coming years, you should think about getting into a stable industry. Environmental engineering and solid waste industry are great careers everyone should look into for stability.

You recently made a presentation at the Global Waste Management Symposium. Tell me more about it, and how did it go?

  • I presented on my PhD topic, which was the sustainability of using un-composted grass clippings and biosolids as biocovers for biological methane removal on landfills. It was amazing to present as an SCSer. It was a big deal for me, and I was really looking forward to it. It was also a great honor that the CEO of SCS, Jim Walsh, attended my presentation! Presenting to my colleagues bonded me even more to SCS. This was also the moment when I realized the power of SCS. More than half of the attendees at the conference were from SCS. The conference also felt like a reunion since many of my previous professors and classmates were there. It was nice to present in front of all these researchers and professors.

What are your hobbies outside of SCS?

  • I am a singer, and I love Indian classical music, so I enjoy singing in my spare time. I also love painting and gardening.






Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:01 am
Tag Archives: scs

Final Cover System and Landfill Gas Piping – Design Considerations

June 24, 2020

SCS Advice from the Field

Landfills are complex systems with many pipes for liquids and landfill gas running in many different directions. Some of these pipes are at the bottom of the landfill, such as leachate collections pipes, leachate toe drain pipes, pressure release pipes, etc. Other pipes are near the final cover system, either below or above, and closely interact with the final cover geosynthetics. Many of these are for control of landfill gas or leachate seeps at the landfill surface. Pipes may include vertical gas wells, horizontal gas wells, condensate sumps, condensate force main, compressed air lines to gas well pumps and condensate sumps, seep control sumps, electric conduits to condensate sumps and seep control sumps, leachate recirculation force main, stormwater downchutes, etc.

When pipe locations are near the final cover geosynthetics, below or above, or penetrating the final cover, design plans should show details of how the pipes or associated components interact with the final cover components. Lack of sufficient information may cause difficulties years later when scheduling the construction of the final cover. Most often, it becomes evident that many of the pipes constructed years earlier are too short for extending through the final cover.

Another aspect of piping and their interaction with the final cover is conflicts among different pipes, more specifically conflicts among gas pipes and liquid carrying pipes, in and near the final cover system. Liquid carrying pipes may include stormwater downchutes, rainwater toe drain pipes, and leachate toe drain pipes. Stormwater downchutes are usually large diameter pipes extending from the top of the landfill to the perimeter stormwater system. Rainwater toe drain pipes – pipes that receive water from the final cover geocomposite drainage layer, and leachate toe drain pipes – to collect leachate seeps below the final cover geomembrane, are co-located at terraces on slopes and the toe of the slope near the perimeter berm.

A few design considerations can be useful as guidelines during the preparation of design sets to address the relative position of these pipes and the final cover geosynthetics or to avoid conflict among pipes.

  • Include the final cover layers in the gas design details where gas wells installations exist near the landfill’s final surface.
  • If flow control valves locations are below the final cover near the perimeter of the landfill, design a vertical casing around the valve tall enough that booting the future final cover to the vertical casing is possible.
  • Condensate sumps and associated stub outs (such as condensate force main, compressed air lines, or electric conduits) installations should be tall enough to accommodate construction of the final cover system around the condensate sump with sufficient space to boot the final cover geomembrane to the exterior walls of the condensate sump.
  • Leave pipes exiting the liner boundary at the perimeter of the landfill at least 1 foot above the anchor trench shoulder. This allows the installation of a geomembrane boot on the pipe at the point of penetration through the final cover geomembrane.
  • Flow control valves located near the landfill perimeter and within the lined area should be in consideration with the future location of a rainwater toe drain system at the toe of the slope.
  • Gas pipes located above the final cover geomembrane and crossing terraces or access roads may create conflict with the rainwater toe drain at the terrace or adjacent to the road.
  • Large gas headers located across the slope above the final cover geomembrane may cause conflict with stormwater downchutes.
  • Large gas pipes on top of the final cover geomembrane crossing a tack-on swale may cause conflict with the flow line of the tack-on swale.

The complexity of landfills varies from site to site, and issues related to conflicts among gas and liquids pipes, and pipes and final cover geosynthetics vary depending on the geometry and other landfill features involved at each location. The best way to resolve conflicts before construction is to have a coordinated effort among parties involved in the design to discuss and find solutions to every conflict at the design stage.


About the Author:  Ali Khatami, Ph.D., PE, LEP, CGC, is a Project Director and a Vice President of SCS Engineers. He is also our National Expert for Landfill Design and Construction Quality Assurance. He has nearly 40 years of research and professional experience in mechanical, structural, and civil engineering.

Learn more at Landfill Engineering







Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:03 am
Tag Archives: scs

New Emissions Guidelines for MSW Landfills in Virginia – SCS Engineers Technical Bulletin

June 23, 2020

SCS periodically prepares Technical Bulletins to highlight items of interest to our clients and friends who have signed up to receive them.  We also publish these on our website.

Our most recent Bulletin summarizes the 2020 Virginia State Plan for New Landfill EG approved by the USEPA on June 23, 2020.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved a Clean Air Act (CAA) section 111(d) plan submitted by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ). This plan was submitted to fulfill the requirements of the CAA and in response to EPA’s promulgation of Emissions Guidelines and Compliance Times for municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills.

The Virginia plan establishes emission limits for existing MSW landfills and provides for the implementation and enforcement of those limits. Highlights of the plan are explained in a newly published SCS Technical Bulletin.

SCS Engineers will continue to post timely information, resources, and presentations to keep you well informed.








Posted by Diane Samuels at 4:50 pm
Tag Archives: scs

Landfill Leachate Seeps – Prepare Ahead to Avoid the Consequences

June 22, 2020

SCS Advice from the Field Series

Leachate seeps from relatively wet landfills are a fact of life for some operators.  Leachate seeps increase in intensity and frequency after a storm, and you’re wondering, how many seeps today; are they reaching the stormwater ditches, detention ponds, or wetlands?

We all deal with daily job challenges, but why not prepare better for this particular problem, given the consequences? Sitting back and waiting for a seep to appear and then scrambling to come up with a solution is obsolete and can be costly.

The timing of handling leachate seeps is as vital as submitting compliance data to regulatory agencies on time. Rapid mitigation of leachate seeps is of ample problem before it turns into a compliance issue and exposing yourself to scrutiny by regulators. We all know that no compliance officer at the corporate office wants to hear from a facility the news of another compliance issue. To get a handle on managing leachate seeps, today’s operator has an arsenal of controls suited for different stages of a landfill’s operation. These controls may vary from the dry season to the wet season, as well.

As the landfill operator, you review the facility operation plan prepared by your engineer from the back to the front to make sure the document addresses all operations. The same document can also include descriptions of seep management controls. You simply request written solutions from your engineer, incorporating controls and guidelines into your operations plan. Your staff now has immediate means to combat the problem following the site operator’s direction using these pre-established guidelines.

With the controls in your facility operations plan, regulatory agencies won’t need to ask for the information. The operations plan has put forward a set of guidelines for the management of leachate seeps in your operations plan, and they became aware of these guidelines during the review of your document submitted to their office as part of intermittent or a renewal submittal. Inspectors are aware that your staff follows the guidelines when necessary; otherwise, non-compliance issues arise. Having an inspector observe a seep closing in on a stormwater ditch isn’t going to do much for your landfill’s standing. The regulators are well informed and understand leachate seep prevention. They will work with you during the implementation of remediation measures based on the guidelines in the facility operations plan.

A reliable engineer will suggest, even emphasize, these measures to clients. You, as the operator, are not only prepared, your site engineer and staff are too. Significant unexpected expenses associated with managing leachate seeps are a thing of the past, and inspectors can be confident that your management of leachate control is appropriate.


About the Author:  Ali Khatami, Ph.D., PE, LEP, CGC, is a Project Director and a Vice President of SCS Engineers. He is also our National Expert for Landfill Design and Construction Quality Assurance. He has nearly 40 years of research and professional experience in mechanical, structural, and civil engineering.

Learn more at Landfill Engineering







Posted by Diane Samuels at 9:02 am
Tag Archives: scs

SWANA Collaborates with Glad to Create the Sanitation Workers Support Fund

June 17, 2020

The men and women of the solid waste industry have been continuing their jobs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In recognition of their hard work and sacrifice, SWANA is collaborating with Glad to support sanitation workers across the United States and Canada personally affected by COVID-19 through the Sanitation Workers Support Fund (Fund). The Fund is providing financial assistance to eligible front-line solid waste and recycling collection workers in the United States and Canada adversely impacted by COVID-19.

Thank you!

“The solid waste industry is considered essential, and its workers have been on the front line, without failure, making sure waste is collected and disposed of since the onset of COVID-19. This fund is an important recognition of their contribution to our communities, and is a way of providing support when they are personally impacted by the pandemic,” stated Suzanne Sturgeon, Health & Safety Program Manager for SCS Field Services and SWANA Safety Committee Chair.





Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:01 am
Tag Archives: scs

Landfill gas system rules are changing – SWANAPALOOZA resources help navigate the maze!

June 16, 2020

SWANAPALOOZA and SCS Engineers professionals and resources help manage operational, environmental, and budgeting needs.

On March 26, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) finalized amendments to the 2003 National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills. The NESHAP rules affect air permits and landfill gas system operating requirements for most active landfills.  Read the Technical Bulletin here.

Some permittees welcome the revised wellhead operational standards, but other changes including additional monitoring requirements for wells operating at higher temperatures, and correction and clarification of Startup, Shutdown, and Malfunction (SSM) requirements are creating confusion. Landfill owners have an 18-month phase-in period before full compliance with the NESHAP requirements, so now is the time to unravel the confusing language between NESHAP rules and existing New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) rules (Subpart WWW and Subpart XXX).

SCS Engineers and SWANA are presenting a series of webinars and resources to help landfill owners and operators untangle the confusing permit phraseologies and implications created when state agencies with air permitting authority incorporate the NESHAP requirements into Title V operating permit renewals and construction permits.

Tune in for advice on Wednesday, June 24, 3:40 PM – 4:15 PM:

SWANAPalooza 2020 Virtual Conference —  Navigating the Maze of Federal Air Quality Regulations for Landfills with Pat Sullivan. Pat and other presenters will discuss the EPA’s landfill regulations, including NSPS, NESHAP, and Emission Guidelines.

Tune in earlier for other key presentations including:

  • Treatment advice targeting emerging contaminants,
  • Solid waste planning for an uncertain future,
  • Using remote monitoring and control to automate regulatory LFG, liquids, and SSM reporting among others,
  • Free on-demand presentations for technical, budgetary, and financial needs; private chats; resource materials; and even entertainment at the SCS Engineers virtual booth.


We look forward to seeing you at SWANAPalooza 2020!








Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am
Tag Archives: scs

Recycling plastic bags and other plastic film is easy and convenient

June 15, 2020

It’s important to make sure we recycle right, not just recycle often! It’s exciting to see all the new products made from the bags and the technology used to sort them – but how individuals’ recycle does matter.

It doesn’t take many plastic bags to get wrapped up in the recycling equipment, causing the equipment to work inefficiently and forcing it to shut down multiple times every day. The facility staff must enter or climb on the screening equipment to cut away bags as in this video.

If you use a plastic bag to collect your recyclables, empty the recyclables into your recycle bin and reuse the bag or recycle it at your grocery or retail store. Don’t mix plastic bottles with plastic bags – that’s what causes safety and efficiency problems in the first place.

Most grocery stores and retail stores such as Walmart, Target, and Lowes have recycling bins for this type of plastic. If you are not reusing the bags, take them to a drop off location, which is probably the same store where you got them.

Find the stores nearest you by visiting this site – a list of all the store drop-off locations in your zip code.

More than just your plastic retail bags can often be recycled, but it’s good to check with your drop-off to see what’s accepted. Examples of what often can be recycled include:

  • Produce, newspaper sleeves, bread, and dry cleaning bags (free of receipts and clothes hangers)
  • Zip-top food storage bags (clean and dry)
  • Plastic shipping envelopes (remove labels), bubble wrap and air pillows (deflate)
  • Product wrap on cases of water/soda bottles, paper towels, napkins, disposable cups, bathroom tissue, diapers
  • Furniture and electronic wrap
  • Plastic cereal box liners (but if it tears like paper, do not include)

Now, if you are on the other end of the consumer chain and looking to provide a program for your school, community, or solid waste planning area, there is no need to start from scratch! Many other such entities have already developed successful recycling programs and are more than happy to share what they have done. Additionally, end-users in need of this material are also ready and willing to assist with setting up programs, such as the one found here. Plastics wraps, bags, and film may not be going away any time soon, but as long as they are here, there is great reuse for them!


About the Author:  Christine Collier is an SCS Senior Project Professional in Des Moines, Iowa. She has over 18 years of experience in the Iowa solid waste industry. She has spent most of her career as both a client and project manager working directly with clients to ensure their projects were being completed on schedule and within budget. Her focus has been on working as a member of the client’s team as an advocate for their best interest. Through her career, she has become an expert in Iowa’s solid waste regulations and compliance requirements. She has BS and MS degrees from Iowa State University in Civil Engineering with an environmental emphasis and is a licensed Iowa Professional Engineer.










Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am
SCS Address

Corporate Headquarters

3900 Kilroy Airport Way Ste 100
Long Beach, CA 90806-6816


1 (800) 767-4727
1 (562) 427-0805 | FAX

Required Posting