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Groundwater Monitoring at Solid Waste Management Facilities

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Solid waste landfills which accepted waste on or after December 21, 1988 are required to monitor groundwater for potential solid waste impacts.  Regulations governing the design and performance of landfill groundwater monitoring networks are found within 9 VAC 20-81-250.A – E of the Virginia Solid Waste Management Regulations. 

Solid waste landfills that impact groundwater above regulatory standards (commonly known as groundwater protection standards) at or beyond the groundwater point of compliance will be required to address the impacts via solid waste corrective action described under 9 VAC 20-81-260.A – H.

The solid waste groundwater program required at solid waste landfills contains several distinct components including:

  • Design, installation, and maintenance of a groundwater compliance well network around the perimeter of the landfill.
  • Routine sampling and analysis of groundwater.
  • Comparison of sampling results to site background and where applicable, groundwater protection standards.
  • Initiation and completion of groundwater corrective action, where needed.
  • Routine reporting of groundwater monitoring activities.

The actions described above may also trigger the need for additional actions related to permit modifications, addressing financial assurance requirements, updating groundwater monitoring, landfill closure, and/or post-closure care plans, and public participation/outreach efforts.  Questions concerning solid waste groundwater monitoring may be directed to the program coordinator or  the appropriate individual listed in the Regional Contacts section below. 

Solid Waste Alternate Concentration Limits (ACL)

  • ACL Table: Attached is the current ACL table ( effective January 18, 2020). Please refer to the draft technical memorandum prior to using the ACL table. Please note that the ACL table is revised once a year; each new version of the ACL table supersedes all previous versions. See 9VAC20-81-250.


The regulatory sections most applicable to the solid waste groundwater program are provided here:

Groundwater Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

DEQ has issued the following FAQ documents dealing with common groundwater issues. Currently, the topics covered include:

Suggestions for additional FAQ topics cab be directed to the solid waste groundwater program coordinator, Geoff Christe, at (804) 698-4283

Resources / References

The RCRA Online EPA website provides supporting information for the federal regulations.

Technical Review Checklists

DEQ has issued submission instructions  for many of the topics below.  Use of the instructions greatly improves the likelihood a technical submission will be judged to the complete.  The following are used by DEQ staff when reviewing groundwater submissions. Landfill owner/operators may independently utilize the checklists as a form of QA/QC when putting together  groundwater submission to ensure all applicable content has been included in the submission. 

To review groundwater submission instructions, please follow the links below to the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall by clicking on the document title. Please check back periodically as new instruction updates for Amendment 7 are planned for release in 2012.

ID Title Revision Date Date Posted
LPR-SW-01-2008 Surface Water Impacts at Solid Waste Landfills * 02/22/2008 12/22/2011
LPR-SW-01-2012 Interpretive Guidance for Groundwater Well Replacement Actions at Solid Waste Landfills * 02/03/2012 02/07/2012
LPR-SW-03-2005 Siting and Groundwater Monitoring for Landfills and the Vicinity of Wetlands * 08/17/2005 12/22/2011
LPR-SW-03-2008 Solid Waste Permit Manual * 12/16/2008 12/22/2011
LPR-SW-06-2011 Amendment 7 and Phase I Monitoring * 08/03/2011 12/22/2011
LPR-SW-SI-15 Submission Instruction 15 - Groundwater Nature and Extent Studies at Solid Waste Landfills * 01/31/2012 02/02/2012
LPR-SW-SI-16 Submission Instruction 16 - Assessment of Corrective Measures for Groundwater at Solid Waste Landfills * 01/31/2012 02/02/2012
LPR-SW-SI-17 Submission Instruction 17 - Corrective Action Plan * 07/31/2003 12/22/2011
LPR-SW-SI-18 Submission Instruction 18 - Proposal for Presumptive Remedies * 01/31/2012 02/02/2012
LPR-SW-SI-19 Submission Instruction 19 - Alternate Source Demonstrations * 02/03/2012 02/07/2012
LPR-SW-SI-20 Submission Instruction 20 - Termination of Post-Closure Activity Evaluation * 02/02/2012 02/02/2012
LPR-SW-SI-21 Submission Instruction 21 - Monitored Natural Attenuation * 09/22/2004 12/22/2011
LPR-SW-SI-22 Submission Instructions 22 - Groundwater Alternate Point of Compliance Variance Petitions * 12/16/2011 12/22/2011
LPR-SW-SI-23 Submission Instructions 23 - Groundwater Annual Reports * 12/16/2011 12/29/2011
LPR-SW-SI-24 Submission Instructions 24 - Groundwater Semi-Annual and Quarterly Monitoring Report 12/16/2011 12/22/2011
 LPR-SW-SI-25  Submission Instructions for MNA-based CASE Reports at Solid Waste Landfills *  7/13/2012  7/18/2012
 LPR-SW-SI-26  Submission Instructions for Groundwater Pump & Treat Based CASE Reports at Solid Waste Landfills *  7/13/2012  7/18/2012
 LPR-SW-SI-28 Submission Instructions 28 - Submission Instruction for Applying Site-Specific Alternate  6/16/2015  12/9/2015

 Regional Contacts for Groundwater Monitoring Issues

Regions Contact Name/Email   Phone Number
Northern Regional Office  Larry Syverson  (804) 698-4271

Piedmont Regional Office

 Dean Starook

 Eric Seavey
 (804) 527-5049

 (804) 527-5005
Tidewater Regional Office  Rachel Patton  (727) 518-2145

Blue Ridge  Regional Office

 Douglas Gilmer

 Michael Sexton
 (540) 562-6776

 (540) 598-2754
Valley Regional Office  Laura Stuart  (540) 574-7910
Southwest Regional Office  John Surber  (276) 676-4823 
 Central Office  Geoff Christe  (804) 698-4283


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

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