You may be wondering how these grades were determined. Our decisions are rooted in the three factors that make the right solution: safety, delivery, and risk & costs.
For example, Cap-in-Place may be the cheapest method but scores very low for safety due to the environmental risk standards. Additionally, the score for delivery (permitting and approvals) is suspect at best. In retrospect, regulated utilities don’t even want this solution. The long-term environmental risk is not mitigated; however, the reimbursement risk is more significant.
In our opinion, beneficiation is the best method; however, demand is lower than supply. Market and production volume limitations do not “fit” within regulatory timeframes. At many sites that have set up on-site beneficiation facilities, production volumes can be measured, applied to the CCR closure strategies. However, when applied to regulatory or liability exposure timeframes, it yields excess legacy CCR. That excess needs to be included in the methods below.
On-Site methods are cost-effective, but the space is limited and requires specific safety measures to ensure the groundwater tables are not contaminated. Siting a new landfill, or expanding a new landfill, is a very daunting task. Restrictions to the eventual new or expanded waste footprint, like historical landmarks, cemeteries, wetlands, and local setback requirements, provide challenges to this method.
Off-Site methods are “the last resort”; however, transportation distance, risk and costs diminish its economic value. With limited land for long term storage of CCR (waste), transportation costs play an essential part in these strategies. In most cases, the current capacities of our landfills are “reserved” for current waste streams.
While these grades are not sent to an Ivy League school for consideration, these grades are valuable when determining the best solution for your site.
In our experience, no single method will always be the right method, and there are many factors to consider when planning. Reverting to what has “always been done” doesn’t classify a decision as a grade-A choice. Instead, we recommend flexible solutions.
One part of a flexible strategy is EnCAP-IT’s eMSE solutions.
In our last post, we will discuss how we apply what we have learned and developed over the last 12 years to assist utilities and their consultants. We have been busy!