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Hazardous Waste Ground Water Program

Ground Water Monitoring at Hazardous Waste Management Facilities

The Virginia DEQ Hazardous Waste Ground Water team oversees the ground water monitoring by hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs). Ground water monitoring is a key part of Virginia’s hazardous waste management strategy for protecting human health and the environment from accidental releases of hazardous constituents. 

TSDFs that manage hazardous waste in landfills, surface impoundments, land treatment units, and some waste piles (referred to as “regulated units” in the regulations) are required to implement a ground water monitoring program to detect the release of hazardous constituents to the underlying ground water.

The ground water monitoring requirements represent the last line of defense by ensuring that any releases are detected and remediated in a timely manner.

The regulatory basis for the ground water monitoring requirements comes from the Resource Recovery and Conservation Act, commonly referred to as RCRA . The regulations for permitted facilities are found in the Virginia Hazardous Waste Management Regulations, 9VAC20-60-264 and 9VAC20-60-265. These regulations incorporate the requirements of 40 CFR Part 264, Subpart F-Releases from Solid Waste Management Units, and the interim status regulations for facilities in operation before these rules came into effect are found at 40 CFR Part 265, Subpart F-Groundwater Monitoring, as part of the Virginia Hazardous Waste Management Regulations. EPA has also developed technical guidance in support of the regulatory requirements.

As of December 1, 2011, there are 23 facilities in Virginia that are required to monitor ground water at regulated units.

hwgroundwater3 Additionally, certain TSDFs are required to perform environmental investigations in the RCRA Corrective Action Program to determine if impacts to environmental media including ground water have occurred due to releases from unregulated units or other activities. EPA's Handbook for Groundwater Protection contains a comprehensive discussion of regulations, guidelines and policies applicable to the Corrective Action Program. For additional information on the program, please visit here.

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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