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Defending Landfills Accused of Landfill Gas Impacts on Neighboring Properties
Patrick Sullivan, Senior Vice President, SCS Engineers
Defending landfills against lawsuits regarding LFG migration impacting neighboring properties can be expensive and complex. It is well known that LFG migration and emissions, as well as their off-site dispersion, are difficult to quantify. This eSession will explore specific quantitative and semi-quantitative tools for evaluating LFG impacts that have been developed by the presenter and used in legal cases.
The eSession will include summaries of three case studies where these tools were used. Each is a landfill in California that was faced with litigation or regulatory action due to suspected off-site impacts of LFG. In each case, the landfill was able to defend itself using the noted tools to show that the impacts were not from LFG or the impacts were a lot lower than what the plaintiffs had alleged.
The tools that will be explored in the webinar include "fingerprinting" LFG for the purposes of comparing it to detected gaseous impacts in both ambient air and the subsurface and tracking those impacts back to the landfill. In some cases, it can be shown that the impacts are not from LFG but from a variety of other industrial, commercial, residential, or institutional sources that can all cause contamination containing one or more of the constituents in LFG. Other tools that will be discussed include models and "tracer" studies that can track the airborne movement of LFG constituents and assess the likely impact on neighboring properties.
Landfill gas (LFG) emissions or migration impacting neighboring properties is not a new concept. However, increasingly we are seeing lawsuits filed by neighboring land owners claiming a variety of health, safety and environmental impacts resulting from their alleged exposure to LFG and its constituents. These lawsuits can create a large amount of liability for the landfill owners due to potential litigation awards and settlements, regulatory action, and negative public opinion that can damage efforts for future landfill projects like expansions or new operations. This eSession is one that you cannot afford to miss.
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