The Problem

The closed Fenimore Landfill in Roxbury Township, New Jersey, was partially reopened for the construction of a solar field. To reopen, Fenimore received a permit that allowed it to accept construction waste, including gypsum wallboard. However, once this debris arrived, landfill gas emissions immediately impacted the surrounding community. 

Residents reported smelling a very strong rotten egg odor—indicative of hydrogen sulfide (H2S)—something consistent with emissions produced by wallboard decay. Many times, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) investigated these complaints by dispatching testers with handheld instruments. But by the time the testers arrived at the large landfill, the odors had dissipated. To protect the public, Roxbury Township officials decided they needed a better way to measure the emissions. 

Our Solution

Officials sought an effective and efficient way to measure potential landfill gas contaminants at locations around Fenimore. This required a 24/7 monitoring system that could take measurements in real time, simultaneously, at parts-per-billion (ppb) sensitivity.  

Triumvirate Environmental installed nine H2S monitoring stations at strategic locations ringing the landfill. We also placed stations in the surrounding community near sensitive receptors, including playing fields and schools. We designed the remotely monitored system to operate automatically, eliminating the need for full-time personnel on-site.  

As part of the project, technicians placed five wind and speed direction sensors to collect airflow data. Our team used the Greenlight™ Environmental Monitoring System to integrate the H2S data with the airflow data. 

The Results

The system reliably captured fugitive landfill H2S gas levels down to 3.0 ppb. The Greenlight™ System live-streamed the results to the town website, which could rapidly share them with hundreds of town residents, officials, and regulatory personnel. The air monitoring system also sent out alerts and notifications directly to subscribers.  

The data collected by the Greenlight™ System proved the landfill was releasing significant amounts of H2S gas. The emissions were impacting the surrounding community at concentrations ranging up to 400 ppb. After two months, seeking to curtail the gas emissions, the NJDEP took over the landfill. Eventually, after being capped, the landfill emission levels dropped significantly.  

Additional facts: 

  • The air monitoring system has been operating reliably 24/7, weekly, for 10-plus years, with an uptime level of 98.5%.
  • The system has collected more than 9 million H2S measurements. 
  • Our team developed an automatic software validation protocol to eliminate false positive spikes from the live web view and notification systems. 
  • By operating automatically and remotely, the system has enabled labor savings of $6.5 million-plus. 

 To learn more about environmental monitoring, please visit our Real-Time Perimeter Air Monitoring page. For information about remediation, visit our Environmental Remediation Support Services page.

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