DEP Grants Air Quality Plan Approval for Innovative Leachate Treatment at Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has made a pivotal decision to authorize an air quality plan for the Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill, situated in Rostraver Township, Westmoreland County. This decision marks a significant stride in environmental management and public health protection.

Advanced Leachate Treatment and Evaporation System

The newly approved system focuses on the treatment and evaporation of leachate – the liquid formed by waste materials and stormwater within the landfill. Traditionally, leachate management involves transporting the liquid offsite for treatment, posing risks of spills and increasing traffic. The innovative onsite leachate treatment and evaporation system at Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill aims to mitigate these risks, presenting a safer and more efficient solution.

Stringent Emissions Limitations and Monitoring

The DEP has not only granted the air quality plan approval but has also set stringent emissions limitations and comprehensive monitoring requirements. These measures are part of the DEP’s commitment to ensuring that the operation aligns with the highest standards of public health and environmental protection.

A Multi-stage Approach to Air Quality Control

The leachate treatment and evaporation system includes a series of pre-treatment processes and a three-stage demisting filtration system, designed to achieve a 99% removal efficiency of filterable particulate matter. Furthermore, extensive measures are in place to monitor pollutants emitted during the evaporation process, ensuring compliance with the set emission limitations.

Rigorous Safety Measures and Continuous Monitoring

The DEP’s plan includes the installation of radiation monitors at six strategic onsite locations, operational 24/7, to ensure any radionuclides emitted do not pose health risks. The data from these monitors will be analyzed regularly, supporting the DEP’s proactive approach to maintaining air quality and public safety.

Annual Third-party Audits for Compliance and Efficiency

An essential component of the plan is the requirement for annual third-party audits of the leachate pre-treatment and evaporation system. These audits will encompass a comprehensive system inspection, cleaning, recalibration of instruments, and training for the operating staff, thereby ensuring the system’s optimal performance and compliance with regulatory standards.

Community Involvement and Transparency

The DEP emphasizes transparency and community involvement, providing supporting documents and detailed information about the permitting and compliance processes on their community information webpage for Westmoreland Sanitary Landfill.

For those interested in staying informed about the DEP’s initiatives and the latest environmental news, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection website.