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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Landfill Gas Is Converted to Electric Power at Operating Industries, Inc.

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Located 10 miles east of Los Angeles in Monterey Park, CA, Operating Industries, Inc. (OII) Landfill Site is divided into two parcels by the Pomona Highway (Highway 60): The North Parcel is owned by A.H.A.S., Inc and contains about 45 acres; the South Parcel is owned by OII and contains about 145 acres. Of the 45 acres in the North Parcel, only about 10 are known to have been used as a landfill, and contain mostly C&D waste (wood, glass, metal, paper, cardboard, brick, asphalt, concrete, and plastic). The South Parcel received the majority of the waste and contains residential and commercial refuse, liquid wastes, and various hazardous wastes. The facility closed operations and stopped accepting wastes in 1984. Threats in the South Parcel include organic and inorganic compounds in the air, groundwater, soil, and leachate; exposure pathways include inhalation of gasses or ingestion of these media. A majority of the landfill gas is produced in the South Parcel by the decomposition of the organic/residential waste. Due to relatively inert nature of the waste on the North Parcel, a small amount of landfill gas is generated in the North Parcel. The groundwater beneath and around the site contains organic and inorganic compounds.

Microturbines at Operating Industries, Inc.

There are four operable units (OUs) at the OII Site. Prior to issuing the Final Records of Decision (ROD), EPA had identified three OUs at the site: site control and monitoring (SCM); leachate management (LM); gas migration control and landfill cover (gas control and cover); and groundwater remedy.

EPA identified the first two OUs (SCM and LM) to facilitate interim remedial actions and issued two interim RODs, which were later superseded by the Final ROD. The SCM ROD was signed in July 1987 and the LM ROD was signed in November 1987. EPA identified the third OU to accelerate the final remediation for the landfill gas (LFG) control and landfill cover. The third ROD was issued in September 1988 and amended on September 1990. Unlike the two previous interim RODs, this ROD selected a permanent remedy for the LFG control and landfill cover. On September 30, 1996, EPA issued the Final ROD for the site which selects a permanent remedy for groundwater contamination, as well as for the matters previously addressed by the two interim RODs.

The selected remedy in the Final Record of Decision (September 1996) includes control of landfill liquids around the perimeter of the facility and natural attenuation and monitoring of the groundwater away from the perimeter, as well as long term monitoring, operation, maintenance, of the remedy. Amendments to the ROD called for the addition of new gas extraction wells, gas piping, additional gas destruction capacity, and monitoring facilities. Also added was a landfill cover system to prevent the surface migration of gas and reduce odor, dust, infiltration of water and oxygen, and erosion. Surface water management was also incorporated into the system. These remedies were completed on the South Parcel in 2000. The North Parcel does not generate large quantities of landfill gas. A final North Parcel cover and passive landfill gas control system are scheduled to begin construction in 2007/2008, allowing for future redevelopment.

Six microturbines were installed on the North Parcel as part of the landfill gas collection system in 2002, converting landfill gas to electric power. All emissions from the microturbines are collected and returned to the gas treatment system to ensure removal of all contaminants. The microturbines save up to $400,000 per year, and generate enough power to supply about 70% of the landfill's energy needs. Each microturbine can generate 70 kilowatts per hour, for a total of 420 kilowatts per hour. They operate approximately 70% of the time and provide power for remedial systems and site operation and maintenance.

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