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NEWMOA formed a Solid Waste Landfill Workgroup that focuses on issues related to operating and closed landfills in the Northeast. The Workgroup convenes state officials several times a year to discuss their programs and share information and strategies.

The Workgroup formed in 2017 after a meeting of state solid waste management officials identified several important challenges that face agencies tasked with overseeing closed municipal solid waste landfill (MSWLF) sites. These challenges included:

  • Overseeing a large universe of facilities with very limited resources
  • The expiration of the "standard" 30-year post-closure care period for many facilities and the need for ongoing monitoring and maintenance
  • Working with municipalities that owned/operated MSWLFs and their ability to implement their post-closure plan, particularly the financial assurance mechanisms
  • Enforcing financial assurance plans

There are several thousand inactive MSWLFs in the northeast. Many of these were municipally-owned and unlined and stopped receiving waste after states imposed modern construction and operation requirements on MSWLFs over 30 years ago. Old waste continues to generate gas and leachate long after a landfill stops adding new waste. Therefore, states developed requirements to properly close a landfill, including: installing an engineered cap to protect against the release of hazardous constituents to the environment and a leachate and/or gas collection system. Unfortunately, some of these old landfills are still not properly closed and sometimes their location is forgotten. In addition, even when properly closed, landfill owners/operators do not always fulfill their requirements, and states have established programs to follow-up and ensure compliance.

In 2021 the Workgroup decided to expand information-sharing and discussion beyond closed landfills and include issues regarding solid waste landfills that are currently operating.

For more information, contact Jennifer Griffith



Last Modified 08/16/2021

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