Student Research: Debra Jean Forslund

Evaluation of the Transport and Impacts of Landfill Emissions by Continuous Monitoring of Community Air
Faculty Advisor: 


This two-month study evaluates the transport and impact of municipal solid waste landfill emissions by continuous ambient air monitoring at a home 230 meters to the east of the Cathcart Municipal Landfill. To investigate drainage flow as the transport mechanism, wind direction and wind speed were also monitored at the home and temperature was recorded both at the home and at the valley floor. A portable meteorological station was used to monitor wind direction and speed. Methane was used as a tracer for landfill emissions and was continuously monitored with a Miran 1A Portable Gas Analyzer (an infrared spectrometer). A hand-held thermocouple was used in an attempt to demonstrate existence of a down-valley temperature gradient - typically associated with drainage flow.

Results of this study siggest that receptor monitoring of methane is an appropriate method of evaluating the receptor impacts of municipal solid waste landfills and that those living in the home studied may frequently and predictably be subjected to odor episodes originating from the nearby landfill.