Guidelines for Hazardous and Toxic Waste Collection and Removal
John Poullain, P.E.
online course provides general guidelines and techniques for the management
and cleanup of uncontrolled hazardous and toxic waste (HTW) sites for the protection
of public health and the environment. The guidelines discussed pertain to the
remediation of on site contamination by the collection and removal of wastes,
soil, sediments, liquids and sludges. Techniques for remediation of contaminated
drums, tanks, lagoons, landfills, soils and structures are discussed in this
course. Other areas requiring remediation work like groundwater plumes and controls
for surface water and gas emissions are not discussed here. Remedial actions
performed at a contaminated site must comply with federal and state regulations.
This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.
At the conclusion of this three-hour course, the student will:
This course is intended for civil engineers and planners.
Benefit to Attendees
The student will
become familiar with several methods and techniques used to collect and remove
contaminated wastes, soil and sludges at hazardous and toxic waste sites (HTW).
HTW disposal sites include contaminated drums, tanks, lagoons, landfills and
structures. The student will understand the importance for proper management
of collection and removal activities and for not mixing incompatible waste together.
The basic guidelines for the O&M of a treatment method, guidance in the
selection of the most appropriate method for treatment and their advantages
and disadvantages are discussed. Potential environmental risks caused by a treatment
method and the measures available for minimizing risks are discussed.
This course provides
general guidelines and techniques for methods of treatment at uncontrolled hazardous
and toxic waste disposal sites. Remedial action at an uncontrolled hazardous
waste site consists of on site control, on site treatment, on site storage or
off site disposal or combinations of these. On site and off site landfill disposal
is a viable option when the volume of HTW material is within the feasible or
economic limits of available technology. Disposal methods for radioactive waste
are not discussed here since satisfactory disposal requires special landfills
that are regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
Remedial actions must comply with the regulatory guidelines of the Department of Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP), the Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) Program, Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or commonly called "superfund"). Waste sites must be investigated for a wide range of conditions, including ground water levels, surface drainage and subsurface ground conditions.
The advantages and disadvantages of various hazardous waste treatment methods are compared. The treatment methods present certain risks to the public health and environment and other concerns for consideration. Considerations for utilizing a treatment method include energy use, O&M costs, requirements for excavation and adequate treatment performance. Environmental risks include mismanagement of condensation drainage, inadequate treatment levels, mixing incompatible wastes, fires, explosions and air pollution. Leachate, migration of contaminants, runoff and wind erosion can contaminate the subsoil, groundwater and nearby surface water.
If treatment of HTW materials is required before disposal, incineration or thermal desorption and methods discussed here are employed for decontamination. These systems also serve to reduce the land required for disposal.
This course is based primarily on Chapter 3, section I of the US Army Corps of Engineers Manual, "Technical Guidelines for Hazardous and Toxic Waste Treatment and Cleanup Activities", EM 1110-1- 502 (1994 Edition, 38 pages), PDF file.
The link to the Engineers Manual is
"Technical Guidelines for Hazardous and Toxic Waste Treatments and Cleanup
Activities", Chapter 3, Section I, "Treatment of Sludges and Soils".
You need to open or download above documents to study this course.
State and federal
regulations have to be complied with at hazardous and toxic waste sites in order
to remove any threat to public health and the environment. This course considers
the techniques and methods for the remediation of uncontrolled contaminated
waste sites and discusses the collection and removal of waste materials. Waste
sites often consist of a diversity of contaminated materials like drums, tanks,
landfills, lagoons, soils and structures. Hazardous and toxic waste includes
materials such as heavy metals, including lead, cadmium and mercury and PCBs,
dioxins, chlorine, sulfur, potassium and explosives. Biological degradation,
impoundments, solidification/stabilization, evaporation, incineration and other
treatment and management methods discussed can be used to remediate contaminated
soils, liquids, sediments and sludges. Benefits achieved by these treatments
are reduction in the land required for any necessary disposal.
For additional technical information related to this subject, please refer to:
"Process for Cleanup of Hazardous Waste Sites", Information about site cleanup.
US EPA comprehensive information about hazardous waste, landfills, definitions and RCRA requirements.
US EPA information on combustion and pollution control, energy production from waste incineration.
Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.