Q&A: South Florida Landfills
Q: What are some of the key environmental engineering challenges in safely developing on landfills?
A: In the last couple of years, Langan has worked on dozens of former landfill redevelopment sites in South Florida. These are complex sites with numerous regulatory and technical challenges, including stormwater management, contaminant fate and transport modeling, methane and vapor mitigation, and soil and waste management.
Additionally, by their nature, former landfill and dump sites have engineering challenges such as poor subsurface conditions, which require their own improvements to allow for site development. These geotechnical improvements need to be carefully aligned with the environmental conditions to confirm the project can be designed, permitted, and constructed. For example, if deep dynamic compaction (DDC) is selected as the ground improvement technique, the DDC plan needs to consider how this activity can mobilize contaminants in soil, groundwater, and air, and cause the impacted media to spread. In addition to these technical challenges, whether or not the redevelopment is occurring on a permitted landfill with an approved closure plan or an unregulated dump site without an official closure plan needs to be considered. The latter can add a lot of time to the development and approval schedule.
Langan offers a unique benefit to clients because we provide environmental, geotechnical, and civil engineering, all of which are required for successful landfill redevelopment projects. By executing these three disciplines under the same roof, we are able to work together and find the most cost effective solutions.
About Vince Yarina, PG, CEM
Vince Yarina manages Langan’s environmental consulting group in Florida. He has 29 years of professional experience, including 22 years with Langan and five years at the NJDEP. Mr. Yarina has worked on countless environmental assessments and environmental consulting projects throughout the US and internationally. He also has provided expert consultation on numerous environmental-related litigation cases in Florida.
In addition to his environmental experience, Yarina has worked on numerous construction dewatering projects and has provided design, consultation, and permitting services for some of the more challenging construction dewatering projects in South Florida, with a particular emphasis on preventing and managing contaminant plume migration or treatment.