Regulations specify that owner/operators of closed landfills are responsible for maintenance, monitoring and condition of the site for 30 years (Subpart F of Subtitle D). This period could change depending on the time required for a site to no longer pose a threat to human health and the environment (HHE). Current regulations provide no guidance or specific criteria to release a landfill from post-closure care (PCC). To provide guidance on ending PCC, the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) funded the development of a performance-based Evaluation of Post-Closure Care (EPCC) methodology in 2006. This methodology provides a modular approach for evaluating the four primary PCC elements, leachate management, landfill gas management, groundwater monitoring and cover maintenance. The EPCC methodology defines the end of PCC in terms of “functional stability.” Functional stability is achieved when a closed landfill no longer presents an unacceptable threat to HHE in the absence of active care.
Since this time, EREF has funded additional grants to further evaluate the methodology and is pleased to announce the availability of a final report from a recent effort aimed to illustrate how EPCC methodology can be applied to demonstrate step-wise reductions in PCC activity from active controls to fully passive measures. To do this, a series of retroactive data evaluations at a case study landfill were conducted over a 20 year PCC period. The landfill evaluated is a 29-acre municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill on an 80-acre property located near Frankfort, New York that operated between the early 1970s and 1991 and was closed in 1993.