- The New Jersey Pinelands Commission and U.S. Geological Survey developed a modeling method that will assign landfills a "level of risk" based on contaminated groundwater moving to nearby waterways and residences.
- Unlike traditional groundwater-quality data assessments, the new model — an additional testing method — will indicate if contaminants require necessary engineering or monitoring of the landfill.
- If a landfill is assessed and does not pose a threat of contaminants leaking to nearby rivers, streams or residences, it may be exempt from further monitoring.
Rick Kropp, the center director of the USGS New Jersey Water Science Center, said the tool is valuable due to its ability to "provide an economical approach to categorize the relative risks of contaminant sources to nearby human and ecological systems."
The commission has already assessed 30 closed, uncapped landfills with the new method, and found 12 had high levels of concern.
In 2016, any municipalities with landfills given a moderate or high level of concern from the screening assessment will be advised for local follow-up.