Evora Assists with Permanent Closure and Performs Monitoring Well Network Abandonment at Two Iowa Landfills

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently established a pathway to termination of post closure landfill monitoring permits once a closed landfill exhibits traits of a stable waste mass and consistent integrity of the landfill cover and vegetation. Minimal ongoing regulation of these sites is achieved by an environmental covenant tied to the property deed that is agreed to by the landowner and the Iowa DNR to govern future use of the site. Approval by the DNR to rescind post closure landfill monitoring permits at two landfills in Iowa prompted abandonment of the monitoring well networks at the following sites.

Coal Combustion Residue Landfill, Humboldt, Iowa
The Corn Belt Power Cooperative Coal Combustion Residue (CCR) Landfill was approaching the end of its post closure permit period and had satisfied DNR’s requirements regarding buried waste. Corn Belt Power Cooperative received approval to rescind their post closure landfill monitoring permit in place of an environmental covenant which the Iowa DNR approved in October 2020. In April 2021, Evora was contracted to properly abandon the site’s monitoring well network. Evora’s licensed well drilling team mobilized to the site and abandoned eight monitoring wells within a few hours, including sampling pads and protective casings, and disposed of the materials at a local municipal landfill. Evora then prepared and submitted the required monitoring well abandonment forms for each of the monitoring wells. As a result of the permanent closure of the site’s well network, minimal cap maintenance and biennial inspections are now the only required actions for the site going forward.

“The drillers were professional and easy to work with. They did not require much guidance or direction and they worked efficiently throughout the project. They were respectful of the property and took care to repair any ruts or tracks that were left by the skid-steer.”

-Jacob Olberding, Vice President of Power Supply – Corn Belt Power Cooperative

Sanitary Landfill Closure, Corning, Iowa
In June 2020, Evora was contracted to prepare a request that the Iowa DNR end post closure monitoring requirements of the Adams-Taylor County Municipal Sanitary Landfill (Landfill) and put in place an environmental covenant. The Landfill, which consisted of 32 acres, received a post closure permit in 1993 and was set to expire in 2023. Evora’s team prepared a request that demonstrated the landfill as a suitable candidate to end post closure monitoring before the original date of permit expiration and also proposed actions to establish long-term environmental protection of the Landfill.

Ending post closure monitoring of the Landfill presented a unique challenge due to the continuing artesian leachate seep from a portion of the landfill. A solar-powered leachate extraction system was installed by Evora in Spring 2017 to alleviate leachate pressure under the cap. Following years of continued operation, the Iowa DNR agreed to cease active pumping and install increased fortification of the seep area using rip-rap to mitigate the effects of the seep and hydrophytic vegetation, such as cottonwoods, at the base of the seep to absorb excess moisture. These mitigation efforts satisfied the DNR’s requirements that the Landfill cap would remain intact and stable.

An environmental covenant, prepared by Evora, was agreed to by the Adams-Taylor County landowners and the Iowa DNR in February 2021. Following approval, Evora’s licensed drill team mobilized to the site to abandon 28 monitoring wells including three landfill gas monitoring wells as well as sampling pads and protective casings. Monitoring well abandonment forms were completed and submitted for each of the abandoned wells in accordance with Iowa DNR’s requirements. With an environmental covenant in place and permanent closure of their monitoring well network, minimal cap maintenance, biennial inspections, and passive seep control are now the only requirements for the site going forward.

To discuss a pathway to an environmental covenant or well network abandonment at your site, please feel free to contact me at kjensen@evora-group.com. Learn more about Evora’s Ending Post Closure Services Here