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Safe storage of mining waste focus of report

August 1, 2018

In December 2017, the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) and GRID-Arendal, an organization that supports environmentally sustainable development in partnership with UN Environment and other collaborators, published “Mine Tailings Storage: Safety Is No Accident.” The report recommends mining companies adopt simple steps to reduce environmental destruction and death by changing the way they store …

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Achieving zero leaks on a budget with geomembranes

June 1, 2017

For more than 30 years, the geomembrane industry has been told that “all geomembranes leak” (Giroud 1984), as if this were some foregone conclusion no matter what might happen from geomembrane manufacturing to the time it is put into service. But recently, the idea of “zero leaks” has been a hot topic at industry conferences, …

Part 2: New design models for MSE walls and slopes

Introduction The design of many geotechnical structures is based on limit-state conditions. For example, in designing gravity walls, the load exerted by the retained soil on the wall is based on an assumed active state of stresses. That is, the wall moves sufficiently outward, enabling the retained soil to mobilize its shear strength along a …

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Case Study: Capping semi-liquid solids with geosynthetic layers

October 1, 2016

Introduction A U.S.-based polyethylene and polyester resin/polymer producer recently closed a manufacturing facility in Wilmington, N.C. (Photo 1). The company hired an engineering firm to manage the demolition and removal of the expansive structures and infrastructure. Part of the environmental responsibilities was to also find a viable solution for closing a 12-acre sludge basin. But …

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‘Subtitle C’ mixed waste embankment cover system

August 1, 2015

Introduction This case history focuses on the construction of a crucial thin rock layer over geosynthetics and the solution encountered during the first construction phase of an RCRA Subtitle C embankment cover system at a hazardous and radioactive disposal site. The top and 5:1 sideslopes of the cover system were constructed with a cap consisting …

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Geosynthetic opportunities in shale gas fracking (revisited)

April 1, 2015

By Robert M. Koerner, George R. Koerner, and Archie Filshill Introduction Energy is clearly the driver of almost every activity that the world and its inhabitants rely on and fully utilize. At issue is “what type of energy?” and the answer (as if there even exists a single answer) is largely geographically dependent. Currently, the …

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Closing the Crazy Horse Landfill

February 1, 2014

First large-scale landfill closure in California to use artificial turf closure system By Christopher M. Richgels 1.0 Introduction The Crazy Horse Landfill (CHLF) is located on a 160-acre parcel west of, and adjacent to, Crazy Horse Canyon Road about nine miles north of the city of Salinas in northern Monterey County, Calif. The landfill, owned …

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Geosynthetics: The solution for managing nuclear power generation water supply in an arid environment

October 1, 2013

By Chris Eichelberger, Gerald Hersh, and Shabbir Pittawala 1.0 Introduction The Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station is located 55 miles west of downtown Phoenix and is the largest power producer of any kind in the United States. Its three units are capable of generating more than 4,000 megawatts of electricity. The facility provides power to …

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Geosynthetic lining systems for shale gas drilling activities

Usage, regulations, concerns, and challenges By Theresa Andrejack Loux and Archie Filshill 1. Introduction Natural gas has long been used to heat buildings and, more recently, to fuel internal combustion engines and power plants. With natural gas providing an alternative to oil, gasoline, and coal in these applications, it promises a marked decrease in the …

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How tubular drainage geocomposite was used in landfill final cover

June 1, 2013

A first for landfills in the southeastern United States. By Thomas B. Maier, P.E., and Stéphane Fourmont Introduction In landfill final cover systems, geocomposite drainage products are frequently used as a drainage layer above the geomembrane layer and for surficial landfill gas collection, either in strips or as a continuous layer, below the geomembrane. For …