Mr. Baker provides over 40 years experience in studying environmental impacts of landfills, remedial sites, and implementing new technologies for more cost effective remediation, energy recovery and optimization of waste management. He previously worked 23 years for Waste Management, Inc. most recently as the Director of New Technology. In this role, Mr. Baker was responsible for evaluating alternative waste to energy and waste management technologies. He also has evaluated over 300 innovative management vendor technologies for waste to energy production including pyrolysis, gasification, plasma arc gasification, anaerobic digesters, and other treatment/conversion methods. He also as developed innovative methods for environmental assessment, remediation, and leachate and industrial wastewater treatment technologies. He developed and managed over 20 bioreactor landfill demonstrations and helped in the permitting and conceptual design of the Outer Loop Landfill bioreactor in Louisville working with the State of Kentucky and USEPA on a cooperative research basis. Enhancement of landfill gas production and reduction of GHG emissions was also a primary goal of the bioreactor technology. Mr. Baker implemented innovative assessment and remedial technologies for leachate, surface water, soil and groundwater for both regional and specific Superfund sites, hazardous waste landfills, and solid waste sites for groundwater, landfill gas, and vapor control.
and Review of Conversion Technologies for Solid and Hazardous Waste. Many states and public agencies desire
alternative methods of disposing, treating, and converting waste to energy
without incineration. Over 250 vendors
of innovative incineration, pyrolysis, gasification, plasma arc, mixed waste
digesters and other renewable energy technologies have been evaluated for
private and public concerns over the last 10 years. AE provided a summary review of all vendors
for a confidential client and compared them to recent conventional incinerator
technologies (mass burn). Technical
feasibility and relative economics were included. A detailed review of 4 plasma arc
gasification company’s technologies was provided.
Summary of Economics and Efficiency of Conversion Technologies for Confidential Venture Capital Firm. AE has evaluated and compared the conversion technologies that were considered viable from the first study and prepared a summary report comparing the cost-effectiveness of each technology, including the 4 plasma gasification technologies, with energy efficiency.
Project Management and Prepare RFP for Evalaution and Scale-up Design of Plasma
Gasfication Technology. Reviewed
proposals for design and scale up of a plasma gasification technology from 25
tpd to 250 tpd. Project includes
selection of design firm, validation of existing system, emissions testing and
scale up design, project management of consulting engineer design and project
specs for fabrication.
Management and Peer Review of Steady State and Virtual Model of Plasma Arc
Gasification Technology. Select the
best University (US) to evaluate existing data and provide steady state and
virtual model to optimize gasification process.
Use data and model to work with consulting engineer design team to scale
up gasifer from 25 tpd to 250 tpd.
Oversight and Permitting for New Gasification Technologies- AE is involved
in consulting for a several new companies that are demonstrating innovative
gasification technologies for unprocessed solid waste. AE provide permit assistance for 4 pilot
plants and three commercial plasma arc gasificaton
plants. Test runs were evaluated including
performance, energy balance and emissions.
Preparation for Engineering Validation of Energy, Mass Balance and Emissions
Performance- AE developed a plan and
scope of work for 3rd party engineering validation of a 25 tpd
plasma arc demonstration plant to be installed at the University of California,
Riverside. Full compliance emissions
monitoring and validation for commercialization of the technology for
feedstocks of wood chips, raw MSW and post-recycled residues will be tested.
Study for Solid Waste Revenue Bond Financing for Plasma Arc Gasification Plant- AE contributed to and provided peer review
for a feasibility study of a plasma arc gasifier to be used for post-recycled
waste (fuel) at the first permitted gasification facility in South Carolina for
a confidential client. The study
included technology review, financial feasibility of the project and hardware
of Biomethane and Digesters for MSW-
AE recently evaluated the existing vendors and technologies that can
provide anaerobic digestion of food waste, fats oils and grease and select MSW
for an international client. This was
for a proposal from an Asian country.
Preparation and Peer Review- Mr.
Baker has assisted in preparation of proposals for numerous public and private
companies for both solicited and unsolicited waste to energy projects,
including landfill gas combined with energy park development at closed sites
with waste to energy with conversion technologies, including plasma
and Pilot Testing of Plasma Arc Incinerator- Assisted in permitting a commercial
scale plasma arc incinerator plant and evaluated test results at a hazardous
waste site in New York in 1985.
- Review of
Pryolysis and Vitrification Technology-
Mr. Baker reviewed and evaluated numerous different technologies for
converting waste tires and select waste to fuel and for treating hazardous and
radioactive waste in the ‘80s and early ‘90s.
of Early Stage Waste to Energy Technology-
Mr. Baker reviewed automated mechanical sorting, sizing, grinding and
shredding MSW to mix with sludge for anaerobic digestion to energy. Also worked on the leading mechanical
recycling of MSW with organic fraction shredded and biodegraded on site. Both these projects started in the late ‘70s
and continued to the early ‘80s.
Investigation / Hazardous, solid waste, low-level rad-waste, and superfund
landfills / North America. Directed and performed numerous hydrogeologic
investigation and subsurface exploration of over 200 existing and proposed
landfill sites in North America. These projects involved interpretation of
complex hydrogeological environments involving multiple aquifers, preparation
of permit applications, coordination of project team in field and office, and
negotiation with regulatory agencies. Projects ranged from green field sites to
groundwater assessments at sites identified to be impacting the environment.
Sites have been located in a wide variety of geologic and hydrogeologic
environments across the continent.
Methods were developed combining hydrogeologic data with geochemical,
geomorphology, and environmental isotopes to confirm hydrogeologic gradients,
interconnection of aquifers, and flow
and Siting Studies / Hazardous and Solid Waste Sites. Siting studies and regulatory reviews for
numerous proposed hazardous and solid waste disposal sites, including
international, North America, and local searches, published data reviews, and
preliminary subsurface investigations.
Several locations were successfully permitted as “Greenfield” landfills.
review of hazardous and solid waste landfill design and operating plans. Involved as expert to evaluate landfill
design and operations for siting review by public agencies as well as peer
review for double lined sites that have leaked into the environment. A hazardous waste landfill, although was
triple lined, found flaws in leachate collection systems. Several solid waste sites, double lined, also
had leakage due to gravity leachate collection systems and liner pipe penetrations.
Design and Performance Monitoring of Innovative Gas Collection Systems. Provided conceptual design and field
monitoring to demonstrate effectiveness of innovative vertical and horizontal
gas collection systems that can function in wet (or bioreactor) landfills. Systems were proven to be equal to or more
effective than conventional gas collection systems and can withstand
substantial settlement and moisture conditions in the landfill.
Monitoring / North America, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and South America
Prepared corporate guidelines for groundwater monitoring plans for over 200
RCRA Subtitle C and D sites and 200 closed/Superfund sites. Developed corporate standards for groundwater
monitoring well design, construction and installation, sampling, analyses, and
- Database Management and Statistical Evaluation
of Data –Assisted in development of WM’s groundwater analytical electronic
data base, one of the largest environmental databases in the world. The statistical evaluation of groundwater
monitoring data was automated and provided remotely to numerous sites in North
America. Petitioned USEPA to change
statistical regulations for RCRA C and D to accept use of intra-well
comparisons as well as prediction limits reducing the false positive rates of
Geochemical Techniques for Determining Leachate Impacts to Groundwater- Demonstrated and implemented the use of major
cations and anions for evaluating Stiff plots and Piper diagrams for comparing
leachate chemistry with groundwater quality.
Conducted these analyses for over 200 landfills to determine if
assessment monitoring is necessary.
Organic Fingerprinting for Evaluating Landfill Impacts- Demonstrated usefulness of organic
“fingerprinting” for tracing VOC impacts from leachate at numerous solid,
hazardous, and Superfund landfills.
Technique was also used to determine location of source if on-site or
determine if source is from off-site location.
Methods of Evaluating Environmental Isotopes to Determine Sources of
Contamination from Landfill Leachates and Gas, Surface Spills,
Industrial/Commercial and Natural Sources for Landfill Investigations- Used Environmental Isotopes to determine
sources of inorganic and organic contamination, particularly for documenting landfill
gas and chemical vapor affects on groundwater.
Over 80 assessments were conducted using these techniques at solid
waste, hazardous waste, and nuclear waste landfills, including a landfill in
Landfill Caps/Covers- Demonstrated that installation of low permeability
cap for Superfund and closed sites with groundwater contamination diverting
moisture from bacteria. Sites have seen
clean-up to standards over last 10 years and plumes have retreated. Supported USEPA’s ACAP program at 2 landfills
where alternate ET caps have been constructed and monitored for flux through
cap. Selected as contractor to assist
Fluor-Hanford DOE site in conceptual design of ET caps and to negotiate
regulator approval. Subtitle D (RCRA)
caps were compared and showed ET caps are equivalent. Three sites permitted based on
demonstration. Supported other alternate
cap programs using models that demonstrated the suitability of ET caps. Assisted in 2 poplar tree cap acceptance at
one closed site and one Superfund site instead of RCRA cap.
of Fugitive Emissions Through Interim and Alternate Cover- Through monitoring of flux on the soil and
compost covers at 3 landfills (one was Outer Loop Bioreactor, KY) demonstrated
that methane gas and VOCs are oxidized in the landfill cover. Methanotrophic bacteria are responsible for these
conditions. Helps with odor emissions as
of RCRA Cap Affects on Groundwater Quality from Landfill Gas- Developed
field and geochemical and isotopic techniques to demonstrate that VOCs in
landfill gas can affect groundwater quality.
Provided remedies to extract gas from vadose zone and perimeter of
landfill to eliminate the problem.
Showed geochemical affects as well due to creation of anaerobic conditions
and dissolution of CO2 from landfill gas.
This problem was assessed at over 60 landfills that had Subtitle D
liners over old unlined sites and installation of RCRA caps on partially lined
and unlined landfills. Problems with VOC
impacts to groundwater occurred within months of capping.
in 20 Bioreactor Landfill Demonstrations- Helped permit and develop
conceptual design, operation, and monitoring of 20 bioreactor landfills, most
notably in Louisville, Kentucky.
Demonstrations are to provide data to USEPA to justify regulatory
changes to encourage this technology.
Showed that bioreactors generate more gas and control more gas during
the operation compared to post-closure, improve leachate quality by in-situ
treatment within the landfill, increase airspace by accelerating settlement,
show that a RCRA cap is not necessary after closure, and post-closure care
should be reduced to 10 years or less.
The following are a list of bioreactor and significant leachate
Landfill, OH- first leachate recirculation demonstration using horizontal
permeable blanket and one injection pipe.
2 acre area injected 500,000 gallons/year for 7 years without any seeps
or problems. Degraded waste sampled to
depth of just above liner
- Live Oak
Landfill, GA- Researched and funded 3 acre pilot aerobic landfill
bioreactor. Degraded waste in 9 months
to compost like quality, acceptable to States compost standards for off-site
use. Scaled up later to 10 acre site.
Superfund Landfill- Funded and
conceptually designed experimental bench scale and full scale method of
aerobically treating groundwater plume by injecting back into aerobic landfill
Ridge Landfill-MN- Funded and provided technical oversight of leachate recirculation
project that had control cell.
Comprehensive data on gas quality and quantity, leachate quantity and
quality, settlement, cover dynamics, geophysics, and waste analyses with depth
collected over 5 year period.
Landfill, VA- Funded and monitored leachate quality, quantity, gas
production, and alternate recirculation methods. Data collection on density and settlement of
Landfill, VA- Funded and monitored leachate quality, quantity, gas
production, alternate recirculation methods, settlement, density, and affects
of sludge addition.
Acres Landfill, NY- Funded and technical oversight of design, operation,
and data collection on leachate quantity, quality, gas production and
settlement. Next step is liquids addition
pending RD&D rule promulgation.
Sandtown LF, DE- Funded and directed
study on summarizing 20 years historical data for leachate quality, quantity,
water balance, settlement, density, gas production at the only site known to
have this much historical data. Also
funded study on 2 small test cells measuring same parameters comparing
bioreactor to control.
Oaks, LF- Funded geotechnical instruments to measure in-situ settlement,
density, stability, strain, and stress of waste. Served as technical advisor to MSU who
collected data on leachate quality, quantity, gas quality and quantity, and
degradation. Conceptual design and
operation of facility.
Landfill, WI- Funded project,
participated in conceptual design, assisted in permitting, operational review,
and data collection for settlement, density, gas production, leachate quantity
and quality. Helped gain acceptance for
liquid biosolids as research project with EPA Reg. V.
Loop Landfill, KY- Funded initial project, assisted in EPA and KY
acceptance and CRDA, technical advisor on conceptual design and operation.
County Landfill, NJ- Funded project, technical advisor to county on design,
operation, data collection for waste characterization, gas production, leachate
quality and quantity, settlement and density.
- GROWS Landfill,
NJ- Funded project collaborated with Geosynthetic Research Institute for
monitoring of liner and within waste for temperature, leachate and gas
quality. Leacahte quantity and density
Disposal, IA- Funded and involved in conceptual design of bioreactor,
innovative gas collection, leachate quality, quantity, gas quantity, quality,
density and settlement.
Landfill, MI- Funded and involved in conceptual design of innovative method
of leachate injection using horizontal blankets of 3 different materials-tire
chips, glass cullet, and geonet. Results
show more efficient and cheaper than horizontal trenches. Settlement and gas production being measured.
- City of
Dallas, TX- Selected as Consultant to City of Dallas McCombis Landfill to
assist in planning, design, and permitting as bioreactor landfill to increase
gas generation, airspace, leachate recirculation, and alternate cap. Developed outline for evaluating geotechnical
model for bioreactor slope stability and peer reviewed the geotechnical report.
- City of
Denton, TX- Selected as consultant to City of Denton’s landfill to assist
in design, operation, and permitting of a bioreactor landfill for airspace,
gas/energy generation, POTW biosolids management, and alternate cap.
Hills Landfill, IL- Prepared initial evaluation if existing infrastructure,
gas and leachate management systems for RDD application for IEPA. Provided sources of commercial/industrial
liquid wastes that would be compatible with bioreactor operations in a 100 mile
radius from the landfill.
Landfill: Evaluate settlement,
density, waste composition (15-20% biosolids by weight) leachate quality and
quantity, and gas production data Project objective was to determine if
leachate recirculation practices resulted in characteristics of landfill acting
as a bioreactor.
to : Florida Solid and Hazardous Waste Research Center-advised New River
aerobic bioreactor committee, Yolo County Bioreactor demonstration project,
Swana Bioreactor committee (leader of
maintaining bioreactor list of projects), Swana Research committee, Minnesota
landfill operators group.
Review Bioreactor Permit Application- Countryside LF, IL
RD&D Permit Applications for 5 Illinois Landfills- River Bend Prairie
LF, Livingston LF, and Lee County LF, Countryside, and SIRL.
Comments to Illinois Pollution Control Board to Assist IEPA in Promulgation of
RD&D Regulations- On behalf of Onyx Waste Services, provided
substantial comments to the Pollution Control Board to streamline permit
process for obtaining a Research, Development & Demonstration permit. IPCB responded favorably to all comments and
Innovative Leachate Treatment with Wetlands and Phytocaps- Assisted with
demonstration of suitability of constructed wetlands to treat leachate. Evaluation of new vertical wetlands for
cost-savings and reduction of surface area requirements compared to standard
wetlands. Vertical wetlands being
demonstrated at several landfills, including for treatment of contaminated
groundwater at remedial and superfund sites.
Also demonstrating treating leachate from closed landfill by spray
irrigating and injecting in planned phytocap.
Plant species are being evaluated for uptake rates, etc.
on Leachate Quality Changes After Landfill Closure- Evaluate leachate
quality and quantity over time from 60 landfills in different climatic regimes
to demonstrate degradation cycle of landfill.
Grant from Environmental Industry Association research foundation
obtained and results shared with USEPA.
Data will help determine post-closure care periods.
Guidance on Determining End of Post Closure Care for Subtitle D Landfills-
Through another research grant, developed conceptual model of determining when
there is no longer a risk to the environment or human health for the four major
components of post-closure care. The
four components are leachate management, groundwater monitoring, gas
monitoring, and cap maintenance. Data
are showing that risk-based approach is useful and that many landfills are safe
well before 30 years of mandatory post-closure care.
for Ending Post Closure Care for Pre-Subtitle D Landfills and Superfund
Site- Long term monitoring data for
leachate, gas, settlement, waste analyses, groundwater, and gas probe
monitoring for 2 landfills, (one is a Superfund site) are no longer a risk to
the environment . Degradation cycles followed a first-order bio-decay
process. Report submitted to States and
EPA (for delisting of Superfund status) based on modeling potential impacts to
groundwater and surface water. Decisions
pending. Assisted with two other
pre-subtitle D landfills where post-closure care was approved to be reduced by
Data to Support Monitored Natural Attenuation Instead of Pump and Treatment of
Contaminated Groundwater- Several
Superfund sites were shown to have naturally degraded the organics in the
previous plume. Through isotopes and
geochemical analyses, demonstrated that in-situ degradation was occurring and
plume was shrinking. One site was
allowed to eliminate existing pump and treatment system.
Consortium of Hydrogeologic Consultants for Major Utility Company- Responsible for the technical direction and
peer review of major hydrogeologic, groundwater quality assessment, and
corrective action that may lead to potential litigation for a major Midwest
Innovative Groundwater Treatment Remedies- Used 0 valent iron filings in
lab and field to show de-halogenation of VOCs.
Demonstration using glucose and yeast to change geochemistry and enhance
natural biodegradation of VOCs at hazardous waste remedial site. Superfund landfill feasibility study and
initial design approved for utilizing landfill as bioreactor to clean up
groundwater plume. Contaminated
groundwater will be injected back into the landfill and aerobically or
anaerobically degrade VOCs by operating closed landfill as a bioreactor.
Mr. Baker has conducted numerous workshops with 35 States and USEPA providing Training for Subtitle D groundwater monitoring programs, bioreactor landfill programs, and groundwater fingerprinting assessments.
Mr. Baker is an invited speaker for numerous environmental conferences for SWANA, Waste Tech, USEPA, International Phytoremediation, Association of Environmental Engineers, ASCE, and other national and international associations. Recently he was invited speaker for the National RCRA conference discussing post-closure care leachate characterization. Phytocaps were advocated at this conference by public solid waste agencies in agreement with his recommendations.
- National Ground Water Association
- Interstate Technology Research Cooperative-
Initiated Alternate Landfill Technology Team to develop guidance document on
alternate landfill caps, Bioreactor Guidance, Termination Post-Closure Care
- SWANA bioreactor committee and applied research
- EIA advisory board
- Governor’s Groundwater Advisory Board-Illinois
- Advisor to Drinking Water Program-Florida
- Advisor to Hawaii DOH-Solid Waste Landfill
Monitoring and groundwater protection
- Advisor to Florida Hazardous and Solid Waste
- Contributing Editor -Environmental Geology
- Qualified Expert Witness in water quality and
ATC Hire Date: 7/89
Career Start Date: 1982
Revision Date: 11/2002