2015 CSCE Annual Conference Regina - Building on our Growth Opportunities

2015 CSCE Annual Conference Regina - Building on our Growth Opportunities Conference

Design Principles and Regulatory Requirements of MSW Landfill Gas Management System in Western Canada

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Mrs. Meherun Nesha, University of Regina (Presenter)
Dr. Kelvin T. W. Ng, University of Regina

Landfill gas management systems reduce methane gas emissions, carbon footprints, and fire/explosion hazards on the landfill property and adjacent areas. This paper discussed the design methods and regulatory framework for landfill gas management systems in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. The purpose of this study was to examine the design standards and approaches, and to compare the legislative regulations associated with the design and operation of landfill gas management systems.

The results of a literature review suggested that the design principles and regulations are wildly different between the provinces. Both British Columbia and Alberta have adopted regulations for landfill gas management. A gas monitoring program, and methane gas migration control measures are required in British Columbia. Such facilities must be approved by the respective regulatory agencies. Methane concentration is limited to: 12,500 ppm (25% Lower Explosive Limit) in any on-site or off-site building; and 50,000 ppm (100% Lower Explosive Limit) at the property boundary. Similarly, a subsurface landfill gas contingency plan is required at Alberta landfills. Lateral migration of methane gas at landfill sites is common due to the properties of local geological materials. The subsurface landfill gas explosive limit is 50% within the property, 20% in an on-site building, and 1% in an off-site building. Saskatchewan adopted a new environmental code (SEC) at the end of 2014. The results-based approach to environmental regulation was used throughout the new SEC. Gas monitoring devices and migration control systems are both required, but specifications on the methane concentrations or explosive limits are not