Some Landfills Will Begin Treating PFAS On-Site As Regulations Tighten

"Companies such as Casella Waste Systems and Waste Connections are building their own wastewater treatment plants for leachate and testing a range of technologies as the industry awaits standards."

  1. "After years of sending leachate from the Coventry landfill downstream to a municipal wastewater treatment plant in Vermont, Casella Waste Systems is building an on-site facility to treat its runoff. Amid rising public concern over PFAS and new or forthcoming regulations, an increasing number of landfill operators across the country are considering similar moves.

As evidence of the risks to human health and the environment continues to mount, Vermont regulators are adopting limits on five types of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, including PFOS and PFOA. New federal limits are also underway. In 2022, the U.S. EPA announced it would drastically decrease its federal advisory level for the two substances in drinking water from 70 parts per trillion, set in 2016, to 0.02 ppt for PFOS and 0.004 ppt for PFOA.

Casella’s progress toward building its own leachate treatment facility coincides with efforts to expand the Coventry site. Even before Vermont legislators passed a law in 2019 requiring new drinking water standards, the company began studying its options for removing PFAS from its leachate.

In a 2019 analysis commissioned by the company — which Casella touts as one of the first of its kind in the country — engineering firm Sanborn Head found PFAS in “an overwhelming number” of materials coming into the Coventry landfill, said Samuel Nicolai, Casella’s vice president of engineering and compliance."

April Reese reports for Waste Dive January 17, 2023.

Source: Waste Dive, 01/24/2023