Qualifications and Experience of
G. Fred Lee
in Hazardous and Municipal Waste Landfills

Dr. G. Fred Lee's work on municipal landfill impact matters began in the mid-1950s while he was an undergraduate student in environmental health sciences at San Jose State College in San Jose, California. His academic course and field work involved review of impacts of municipal solid waste landfills on public health and the environment.

Dr. G. Fred Lee obtained a Master of Science in Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1957. The focus of his master�s degree work was water quality evaluation and management with regard to public health and environmental protection from chemical constituents and pathogenic organisms.

In 1960 Dr. Lee earned a PhD degree in environmental engineering from Harvard University. An area of his specialization during his PhD work was aquatic chemistry. As part of his degree work he undertook additional formal education on the fate, effects, and significance of, and development of control programs for, chemical constituents in surface and groundwater systems.

For a 30-year period, Dr. Lee held university graduate-level teaching and research positions in departments of civil and environmental engineering at several major United States universities, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Texas at Dallas, and Colorado State University. During that period he taught graduate-level environmental engineering courses in water and wastewater analysis, water and wastewater treatment plant design, surface and groundwater quality evaluation and management, and solid and hazardous waste management. Dr. Lee has published more than 1,150 professional papers and reports on his research results and professional experience.

Dr. Lee�s work on the impacts of municipal solid waste landfills began in the 1960s. While directing the Water Chemistry Program in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he became involved in the review of the impacts of municipal solid waste landfills on groundwater quality. In the 1970s, while he was Director of the Center for Environmental Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas, he was involved in the review of a number of municipal solid waste landfill situations, focusing on the impacts of releases from the landfill on public health and the environment. He conducted pioneering work beginning in the 1970s on the impacts of organic solvents on clay liners for landfills and waste lagoons.

In the early 1980s, while holding a professorship in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University, Dr. Lee served as an advisor to the town of Brush, Colorado on the potential impacts of a proposed hazardous waste landfill on the groundwater resources of interest to the community. Based on that work, he published a paper in the Journal of the American Water Works Association discussing the ultimate failure of the liner systems proposed for that landfill in preventing groundwater pollution by landfill leachate. In 1984 that paper was judged by the Water Resources Division of the American Water Works Association as the �Best Paper� published in the journal for that year.

Also in the early 1980's Dr. Lee served as an advisor to the California Water Resources Control Board staff on revisions of Subchapter 15 (now Title 27) governing waste disposal on land. In addition, he was a member of an advisory group for the CA Water Resources Control Board on the development of the long-range management plan for protection of groundwater quality in the state. Since then, Dr. Lee has also served as an advisor to the states of Michigan, New Jersey and Texas on solid waste regulations and management.

While holding the joint positions of Director of the Site Assessment and Remediation Division of a multi-university consortium hazardous waste research center and a Distinguished Professorship of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Dr. Lee was involved in numerous situations concerning the impact of landfilling of municipal solid waste on public health and the environment. Dr. Lee conducted a comprehensive review of the properties of HDPE liners of the type being used today for lining municipal solid waste and hazardous waste landfills. Attention was focused on the compatibility of such liners with landfill leachate and their expected performance for containing waste-derived constituents for as long as the waste in the landfill will be a threat.

In 1989, Dr Lee retired from university teaching and research to expand the part-time consulting that he had been doing with governmental agencies, industry and community and environmental groups, into a full-time activity. A principal area of his work since then has been assisting water utilities, municipalities, industry, community and environmental groups, agricultural interests and others in evaluating the potential public health and environmental impacts of proposed or existing hazardous, as well as municipal solid waste landfills. He has been involved in the review of approximately 80 different landfills in various parts of the United States and in other countries (see list at http://www.gfredlee.com/exp/areawork.htm).

With Dr. Anne Jones-Lee, his wife, he has published extensively on the issues that should be considered and addressed in developing and evaluating new and expanded municipal solid waste and hazardous waste landfills in order to protect the health, groundwater resources, environment, and interests of those within the sphere of influence of the landfill. Their more than 100 professional papers and reports on landfilling issues provide guidance not only on the problems of today's minimum US EPA Subtitle D landfills, but also on how landfilling of non-recyclable wastes can and should take place to protect public health, groundwater resources, the environment, and the interests of those within the sphere of influence of a landfill. Many of their publications and reports prepared on behalf of clients are available as downloadable files from their website www.gfredlee.com in the Landfills-Groundwater section.

In the early 1990s, Dr. Lee was appointed to the California Environmental Protection Agency's Comparative Risk Project Human Health Subcommittee that reviewed the public health hazards of chemicals in California's air and water. In connection with that activity, he and Dr. Jones-Lee developed a report entitled, "Impact of Municipal and Industrial Non-Hazardous Waste Landfills on Public Health and the Environment: An Overview" (Lee and Jones-Lee, 1994) ( http://www.gfredlee.com/cal_risk.htm), that served as a foundation for the human health advisory panel to assess public health impacts of municipal landfills.

Drs. Lee and Jones-Lee have developed a comprehensive review of the �Flawed Technology of Subtitle D Landfilling� for protecting public health, groundwater resources and the environment for as long as the municipal solid wastes in a �dry tomb�-type landfill are a threat. It includes a discussion of how municipal landfills can be developed to protect public health and environmental quality. That report is available from their website at http://www.gfredlee.com/Landfills/SubtitleDFlawedTechnPap.pdf.

In addition to teaching and serving as a consultant in environmental engineering for over 45 years, Dr. Lee is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas and a Diplomate in the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEE). Membership as a Diplomate in the Academy recognizes his leadership role in the environmental engineering field. For more than 20 years he has served as a Chief Examiner for the AAEE, first in New Jersey and then, since 1989, in north-central California. In this capacity he is responsible for administering examinations for professional engineers with extensive experience and expertise in various aspects of environmental engineering, including solid and hazardous waste management, desiring admission to the Academy.

Dr. Lee's work on landfill impacts has included developing and presenting several two-day short-courses devoted to landfills and groundwater quality protection issues. Those courses have been presented through the American Society of Civil Engineers; the American Water Resources Association; the National Ground Water Association in several United States cities, including New York, Atlanta, Seattle and Chicago; and the University of California Extension Programs at several of the UC campuses, as well as through other groups. He has served for many years as an American Chemical Society tour speaker, through which he is invited to lecture on landfills and groundwater quality protection issues, as well as domestic water supply water quality issues throughout the US. Additional information on the qualifications of Drs. Lee and Jones-Lee to undertake reviews of the potential impacts of landfills and landfill expansions on public health, groundwater resources and the environment is available from their website (www.gfredlee.com) or by contacting Dr. Lee at [email protected].


NAME: G. Fred Lee

ADDRESS: 27298 E. El Macero Dr.
El Macero, CA 95618-1005

DATE & PLACE OF BIRTH: July 27, 1933; Delano, California, USA

TELEPHONE: 530/753-9630 (home/office)

E-MAIL: [email protected]

WEB PAGE: http://www.gfredlee.com


Ph.D. Environmental Engineering & Environmental Science,
Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 1960

M.S.P.H. Environmental Science-Environmental Chemistry, School of Public Health,
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 1957

B.A. Environmental Health Science, San Jose State University 1955


Current Position:

  • Consultant, President, G. Fred Lee and Associates

Previous Positions:

  • Distinguished Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ, 1984-89
  • Senior Consulting Engineer, EBASCO-Envirosphere, Lyndhurst, NJ (part-time), 1988-89
  • Coordinator, Estuarine and Marine Water Quality Management Program, NJ Marine Sciences Consortium Sea Grant Program, 1986-1988
  • Director, Site Assessment and Remedial Action Division, Industry, Cooperative Center for Research in Hazardous and Toxic Substances, New Jersey Institute of Technology et al., Newark, NJ, 1984-1987
  • Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Texas Tech University, 1982-1984
  • Professor, Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University, 1978-1982
  • Professor, Environmental Engineering & Sciences; Director, Center of Environmental Studies, University of Texas at Dallas, 1973-1978
  • Professor of Water Chemistry, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1961-1973

Registered Professional Engineer, State of Texas, Registration No. 39906


Published over 1,150 professional papers, chapters in books, professional reports, and similar materials. The topics covered include:

Studies on sources, significance, fate and the development of control programs for chemicals in aquatic and terrestrial systems.

Analytical methods for chemical contaminants in fresh and marine waters.

Landfills and groundwater quality protection issues.

Impact of landfills on public health and environment.

Environmental impact and management of various types of wastewater discharges including municipal, mining, electric generating stations, domestic and industrial wastes, paper and steel mill, refinery wastewaters, etc.

Stormwater runoff water quality evaluation and BMP development for urban areas and highways

Eutrophication causes and control, groundwater quality impact of land disposal of municipal and industrial wastes, environmental impact of dredging and dredged material disposal, water quality modeling, hazard assessment for new and existing chemicals, water quality and sediment criteria and standards, water supply water quality, assessment of actual environmental impact of chemical contaminants on water quality.


Presented over 750 lectures at professional society meetings, universities, and to professional and public groups.


Principal investigator for over six million dollars of contract and grant research in the water quality and solid and hazardous waste management field.


Over 90 M.S. theses and Ph.D. dissertations have been completed under the supervision of Dr. Lee.


Consultant to numerous international, national and regional governmental agencies, community and environmental groups and industries.

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