The proposed guide would direct owners of property containing municipal trash to transition such sites to public uses that include parklands. The guide may also guide operators of current and future trash landfills on how they are managed to more easily facilitate a transition to public parkland once closed. Rather than a soup to nuts guide that would identify every possible aspect of such a transition, the guide would focus on critical factors common to all trash landfills, including landfill leachate and methane gas generation. Every restoration will have site-specific, and regulatory agency-specific criteria, but each require a standard methodology for acknowledging when, for example, leachate is clean enough to be directly discharged to open waters or groundwater, or clean enough to be treated by a natural filtering process (such as wetlands nutrient removal). Likewise, for methane generation, a standard methodology is needed to acknowledge when that naturally forming gas may be passively vented to the atmosphere instead of being actively collected and flared.
The standard is needed as there is no standard method used by thousands of U.S. local, state, tribal, and federal governments to define a quality of landfill leachate that is clean enough or landfill methane that is safe enough to be passively released to the environment. Each unit of government is free to impose standards that impose significant public costs to other units of government that have little to no environmental benefit and possibly negative environmental impacts (e.g., as when clean leachate is pumped to a combined sewer that overflows raw human waste to open water every time precipitation exceeds less than one half inch). The standard would identify key transition points and the physical conditions that define them for clean leachate discharges and safe methane emissions.
Keywordsenvironmental risk; stakeholder concern; property owner liability; greenhouse gas emissions effects; public safety; water quality; environmental impact; cumulative effect; community right-to-know:
The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.Back to Top