Brownfields and health risks—air dispersion modeling and health risk assessment at landfill redevelopment sites

Authors

  • Joseph Ofungwu,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Louis Berger Group, Environmental Engineering, 30 Vreeland Road, Florham Park, New Jersey 07932, USA
    • The Louis Berger Group, Environmental Engineering, 30 Vreeland Road, Florham Park, New Jersey 07932, USA
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  • Steven Eget

    1. The Louis Berger Group, Environmental Engineering, 199 Water Street, 23rd Floor, New York, New York 10038, USA
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Abstract

Redevelopment of landfill sites in the New Jersey–New York metropolitan area for recreational (golf courses), commercial, and even residential purposes seems to be gaining acceptance among municipal planners and developers. Landfill gas generation, which includes methane and potentially toxic nonmethane compounds usually continues long after closure of the landfill exercise phase. It is therefore prudent to evaluate potential health risks associated with exposure to gas emissions before redevelopment of the landfill sites as recreational, commercial, and, especially, residential properties. Unacceptably high health risks would call for risk management measures such as limiting the development to commercial/recreational rather than residential uses, stringent gas control mechanisms, interior air filtration, etc. A methodology is presented for applying existing models to estimate residual landfill hazardous compounds emissions and to quantify associated health risks. Besides the toxic gas constituents of landfill emissions, other risk-related issues concerning buried waste, landfill leachate, and explosive gases were qualitatively evaluated. Five contiguously located landfill sites in New Jersey intended for residential and recreational redevelopment were used to exemplify the approach.

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