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A leachate is any liquid that, in the course of passing through matter, extracts soluble or suspended solids, or any other component of the material through which it has passed.
Leachate is a widely used term in the environmental sciences where it has the specific meaning of a liquid that has dissolved or entrained environmentally harmful substances that may then enter the environment. It is most commonly used in the context of land-filling of putrescible or industrial waste.
In the narrow environmental context leachate is therefore any liquid material that drains from land or stockpiled material and contains significantly elevated concentrations of undesirable material derived from the material that it has passed through.
As recently as May 12 of this year, Monroe "Monty" Branstad, was fined $17,000 for violating Iowa's environmental laws from an August 2008 incident that illegally discharged sweet corn silage leachate from a containment basin on Branstad's 1,100 head cattle operation near Forest City, Iowa.
According to the authors, "The study presents extensive data that show that heavy metal concentrations in leachate and landfill gas are generally far below the limits that have been established to protect human health and the environment."
While the city has great hopes for the land, which it plans to build in phases over the next 30 years among them as a destination for mountain-biking, trail-running, and horseback-riding, the mounds that comprise the park are so far dotted not with fountains, such as the Bethesda Fountain, but with well-heads to collect the decomposing gases, and treatment plants where something called leachate is rendered harmless and released into Arthur Kill .
This gloop, known as leachate, might have contained any number of hazardous chemicals, especially in an era when few people thought much about what they tossed.
These liners and a subterranean piping system collect the leachate, which is then hauled to sewage treatment plants.
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