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U.S. EPA REGION 5
MACOMB COUNTY
UTICA

Congressional District # 10

G&H LANDFILL

EPA ID# MID980410823
Last Updated: November, 2011

Site Description

The G & H Industrial Landfill site consists of a 60-acre landfill and approximately 10 to 20 acres of adjacent property.  The landfill was used as a waste oil recovery facility from 1955 to 1967 and as an industrial and municipal landfill from 1955 to 1974.  Waste oil containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was stored in unlined ponds at the site, in addition to the disposl of waste solvents, paint sludge, and municipal refuse.

The site is bordered by the Clinton River and a state recreational area to the south and west, and by small business and residential areas to the north and east.  About 50,000 people live within three miles of the site.  Most of those directly adjacent to the site are now connected to the municipal water supply.  Shallow groundwater in the area is flowing southwest towards the river; thus, the contaminant plume does not directly threaten the residential areas to the north and east.

 

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal and Potentially Responsible Party actions.

Threats and Contaminants

The G&H Site was a sand and gravel quarry until the early 1950s.  The landowner leased the property to the G&H Industrial Fill Company after quarry operations ceased.  Waste disposal operations at the Site began in the mid-1950s and continued until 1973.  The G&H Industrial Fill Company accepted municipal refuse, solid industrial waste, and liquid industrial waste including oils, solvents, paint residue, varnishes, lacquers, and industrial process sludge.

From approximately 1955 to 1967, the G&H Industrial Fill Company operated a waste oil disposal system at the Site.  Bulk waste oil from various industrial sources was transported to the Site in railroad cars or tanker trucks.  Records indicate that 600,000 gallons of waste oil was accepted monthly at the Site.  Initially the operators attempted to reclaim oil by pumping mixtures to settling ponds and skimming off the recoverable oil for resale, but this never became commercially viable.  Oil was then reportedly left to settle, the volatile components allowed to evaporate, and the resulting sludge periodically removed from the ponds and buried in the landfill.  Contaminated groundwater containing benzene, toluene, xylene, and trichloroethene exists beneath the site and PCB-laden oil is contained within the landfill.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) assessed the Site’s risks in 1987 and concluded that exposure could occur by direct contact with contaminated media or by inhalation of volatile compounds.  Exposure routes include contact with surface soil, contact with sediment, exposure to contaminated surface water and groundwater, dermal exposure in recreational areas adjacent to the Site, and consumption of contaminated wildlife.

Cleanup Progress

The G & H Landfill site was listed on the National Priorities List in 1983.  U.S. EPA in consultation with the State of Michigan, began a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) in 1984.  Between 1982 and 1987 EPA installed a fence around the Site and removed small quantities of PCB-laden oil to stabilize conditions.  Following completion of the RI/FS, U.S. EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) in 1990 .

In 1993, U.S. EPA reached a settlement with 14 Detroit area companies to design and implement the remedy.  Between 1993 and 1994 approximately 30 residences and four small businesses adjacent to the site were connected to the municipal water supply.  The construction of the remedial action (RA) started on August 19, 1996, and was completed on August 24, 1999.  The major components of the RA include the following: 

• Installation of a modified RCRA Subtitle C landfill cover to prevent direct contact and reduce the rate of infiltration to the water table

• Excavation of impacted soils from areas outside of the landfill cover and placement of the impacted soils beneath the landfill cover

• Installation of a slurry wall around the landfill areas to physically contain the landfill contents and a toe drain on the west side to capture leachate for treatment

• Installation of a groundwater extraction and treatment system to capture and hydraulically contain the landfill contaminants

• Implementation of a monitoring program to ensure the adequacy of the groundwater cleanup

• Mitigation of impacted wetlands and creation of new wetlands to replace those lost to contamination or the cleanup

The site is currently in the Operations and Maintenance phase of the remedy. Five-Year Reviews of the site were completed in 2001, 2006, and 2011.  The 2011 Five-Year Review concluded that a protectiveness determination for the remedy at the G&H Landfill Site cannot be made without further evaluation of the groundwater/leachate extraction systems.  U.S. EPA expects that these evaluations will take approximately twelve months to conduct, and will issue an addendum to the Five-Year Review once a protectiveness determination is complete. 

Property Reuse

With effective planning communities can often return sites to productive use without jeopardizing the effectiveness of the remedy, and local government agencies had indicated strong interest in exploring reuse opportunities at the G&H Site.  A redevelopment study was conducted concurrent with the 2006 Five-Year Review to determine whether portions of the Site could be used by the surrounding community.  The redevelopment study concluded that because U.S. EPA’s primary responsibility at a site is to ensure the continued protection of human health and the environment the ROD required Institutional Controls (ICs) should not be altered.  These ICS included deed restrictions that were placed on the Site as part of the consent decree settlement with the estate of the landfill owner, and these deed restrictions preclude any form of use, including recreational use.

 

Contacts

Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
william ryan (ryan.williamj@epa.gov)
(312) 353-4374

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
cheryl allen
(312) 353-6196

Aliases

G & H LDFL
G & H IND LDFL

 

Site Profile Information

This profile provides you with information on EPA's cleanup progress at this Superfund site.

 


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