Issues Concerning Impacts of
Landfills on Groundwater Quality & Public Health

Subtitle D Requirements Do Not Ensure Protection

Some Key Problems with
Subtitle D Approach:
Read Our Discussions of These Issues in:
  • Integrity of system depends on keeping moisture out of wastes forever -- "Dry Tomb" concept
    - organic waste will not decompose without moisture
    - heavy metals and others will not "detoxify" in landfill
    - buried wastes remain threat to water quality ad infinitum
  • Moisture barriers in cover not amenable to rigorous inspection/ repair to prevent entrance of moisture into wastes
  • All landfill liners eventually leak
  • Leachate collection systems eventually fail
  • Groundwater monitoring regimens likely to miss finger-plumes of incipient leakage; off-site well pollution may be first indication of failure
  • Small amount of "garbage juice" can render groundwater supply unpotable
  • Postclosure care & remediation funding required indefinitely
    - typical 30-yr "post-closure period" only small part of duration of threat to groundwater quality & public health
    - long-term financial responsibility will be shifted to others... county, public, area residents
  • MSW landfills emit gas, odors, & hazardous chemicals
  • NIMBY is often justified based on public health & welfare, and environmental quality protection

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