About the Program

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is responsible for protecting all Commonwealth citizens and the environment from hazardous material contaminants. This includes most sources of radiation. With increasing frequency, radioactive material (RAM) is detected in municipal and residual solid waste by radiation monitors installed at processing and disposal facilities.

Sources of radiation have the potential to cause serious impact on human health and safety and the environment. In 2001, the Departmentís Bureau of Radiation Protection and Bureau of Waste Management jointly developed regulations requiring all municipal and residual solid waste facilities to monitor all incoming wastes for the presence of radiation and radioactive materials.

In addition to the Solid Waste regulations enacted, the Bureau of Radiation Protection issued a guidance document to assist facilities with regulatory compliance. The document, entitled "Final Guidance Document on Radioactivity Monitoring at Solid Waste Processing and Disposal Facilities" (DEP Document Number 250-3100-001), provides a comprehensive overview of the history, program experience and regulatory radiation monitoring requirements. In addition, the required facility Radiation Protection Action Plan, instrumentation, personnel training, record keeping and dose limits for workers and members of the public are outlined.

Bureau of Radiation Director David Allard has produced a PowerPoint presentation, linked below, to accompany his lecture on radioactivity in solid waste:

For more information about monitoring for radioactive materials in solid waste please contact the Licensing Section via e-mail or (717) 787-2480.