"Groundwater Protection at a Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfill…Tales from the Field," by Victoria Warren


Location: 126 DeBartolo Hall Map

Lf Constructed Cell


Since the implementation of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Subtitle D in the early 1990s, MSW landfills in the US have had a regulatory framework for management, operations, and maintenance.   Landfill rules mandate minimum construction requirements for new cells that include a bottom liner, landfill gas and leachate collection, and interim and final capping of completed cells.  The intended consequence of these construction guidelines is a landfill unit that prevents migration of waste-related contaminants to the atmosphere, surface water, and groundwater.  Pre-Subtitle D landfills that may not have state of the practice construction and operation are also subject to Subtitle D regulations.  Subtitle D designs have proven effective in protecting groundwater, but pre-Subtitle D cells have greater potential for impacts to groundwater. 

To ensure that contaminant containment is maintained, a durable groundwater evaluation program is required.  The foundation of groundwater protection comprises three components:  groundwater monitoring, assessment, and corrective measures.  Although the process may seem prescriptive, navigating the rule requires the skill sets of a scientist, a lawyer, and sometimes, a hostage negotiator.


Ms. Warren has been involved in the waste industry for over 25 years, and has been managing Republic Services groundwater and Superfund programs for the past 18 years.  She has worked with many State and Federal regulatory agencies at hundreds of landfill sites across the country and Puerto Rico to develop groundwater monitoring, assessment and remedial programs that are both robust and durable.  Ms. Warren advocates a sound technical approach to manage groundwater issues at solid waste facilities and is enthusiastic in educating stakeholders on innovative strategies. Beyond the field, she has developed and implemented successful liability management processes for the company.

Ms. Warren attended University of Notre Dame where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology.  She continued her education at Indiana University where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology and Master’s Degrees in Geology and Environmental Science.  Ms. Warren has been a Certified Professional Geologist in Indiana since 1989.  Additionally she was a 2015 recipient of the Unsung Heroes award from the Solid Waste Association of North America

Seminar sponsored by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences

Originally published at energy.nd.edu.