Site Characterization, Risk Assessment, and Corrective Measures Study for a CCR Landfill
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Geosyntec evaluated the nature and extent of potential impacts to groundwater and surface water, developed and evaluated a range of remedial alternatives, and assisted with the implementation and Federal CCR Rule compliance at a CCR landfill underlain by fractured bedrock.

When the facility became subject to legal action by non-government organizations under the Clean Water Act, Geosyntec assisted in negotiation of a settlement, evaluated the as-built conditions of the facility, and evaluated the nature and extent of the facility's potential impacts to groundwater and surface water. The potential risk to receptors and a range of remedial alternatives were evaluated and developed.


To assess the as-built condition and the nature and extent of potential impacts to groundwater and surface water from CCR, Geosyntec characterized the nature of CCR leachate at the facility by collecting landfilled CCR placed at varying timeframes around the site, performed laboratory leaching studies, and characterized the leachate collected by the engineered leachate treatment impoundments. We used the leachate characterization as a fingerprint to trace leachate impacts in the fractured bedrock aquifer. Key pathfinders for this site included boron, sulfate, selenium, lithium, total dissolved solids, hardness, and other constituents. Constituents such as arsenic and molybdenum, while detected in the leachate at this and other CCR sites, were not mobile in the groundwater aquifer.

We also evaluated the facility's hydrogeologic conditions to develop an understanding of potential bedrock lineament-controlled migration pathways. This resulted in a site conceptual model that demonstrated the location of the adjacent streams is controlled by bedrock lineaments and are local groundwater discharge zones. Our corrective measures study included an option that takes account of the existing geologic barriers to off-site migration. This conceptual model, together with the demonstrated absence of aquatic toxicity, was used as the basis for a source control and monitoring remedial option for groundwater in the corrective measures study.

Geosyntec also monitored the water quality of surrounding private potable wells to evaluate whether site-related constituents had affected these potential receptors.  Leachate forensics, particularly the presence/absence of highly mobile CCR constituents, and constituent ratios, were used to demonstrate the lack of impacts to these wells.


After comprehensive assessments and the evaluation, development, and implementation of remedial alternatives and corrective measures, Geosyntec assisted with the Federal CCR compliance for the fractured bedrock underlain site.

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Project Summary

  • Location: Eastern U.S.
  • Client: Confidential Energy Sector Client
  • Project Practice Areas: Water & Wastewater, Waste Management, Environmental Management
  • Type of Facility: Coal ash landfill
  • Services Provided: Site characterization, risk assessment, and corrective measures study, CCR leachate and background forensics, Fractured bedrock hydrogeology, Evaluation of stormwater and leachate collection systems, Regulatory negotiation
  • Type of Work: Site characterization
  • Governing Regulation: Federal CCR regulations