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Congressional District # 01


EPA ID# MND000874354
Last Updated: August, 2013

Site Description

The Olmsted County Sanitary Landfill occupies approximately 52 acres of a 304-acre property located in Olmsted County, Minnesota, approximately three miles north of the City ff Rochester.  The landfill  began operation in approximately 1970 and accepted mixed municipal solid waste as well as commercial and industrial solid waste until 1987.  In 1987, the landfill was closed to all except demoliton debris and ash from the Rochester Public Utilities power plant.  Closure of the landfill began in 1993.  Land use surrounding the landfill is predominantly agricultural and residential.  A quarry is located to the west of the site.  Several hundred people live within one mile of the site and use private wells.  

Site Responsibility

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is the lead agency for the site, which currently manages the site as part of its Closed Landfill Program. 

Threats and Contaminants

nhe past, groundwater was contaminated with low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals.  

Cleanup Progress

The site was added to the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1986.  In 1989, MPCA signed a Consent Order with Olmsted County, requiring the county to investigate contamination at the site and to conduct cleanup activities. The county initiated a study of contamination at the site in early 1991, which included analysis of the groundwater, surface water, and sediments.  In 1993, the county also conducted a dye-tracing study to identify the flow pattern of groundwater in and around the site.  The landfill was found to have some impact on the upper aquifer at the site, the Prairie du Chien aquifer, in an area close to the landfill.  Howeer, this aquifer did not meet water quality standards for drinking water on an area-wide basis due primarily to nitrogen and chloride from agricultural practices.  The deeper aquifer, in the Jordan Sandstone, was not impacted.  No contaminants were found in residential wells at levels higher than background levels.  

In 1994, EPA determined that no remedial action was needed at this site beyond what would be required under State laws and regulations.  In 1994, under a waste permit issued by the State, the landfill was capped and a leachate collection system was installed.  EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 1995. 

On-going landfill maintence is conducted by MPCA under its Closed Landfill Program.  Uner this program, the landfill is maintained and landfill gas and groundwater are monitored.  The property is owned by the State and land-use controls and groundwater restrictions are in place.   Currently, on-site groundwater contains manganese at levels above the Minnesota Department of Health's Health Risk Levels. MPCA continues to monitor groundwater. Contaminants are not detected in the residential wells and off-site groundwater does not exceed drinking water standards. MPCA has established a Groundwater Area of Concern and a Methane Gas Area of Concern at the site for added protection.

Property Reuse

In 2008, MPCA signed a long-term lease with Rochester Aero Model Society for operation of a radio-controlled model airplane flying facility on the southwestern portion of the site, which is not part of the waste footprint.  In 2011, MPCA also signed a long-term lease with Olmstead Landfill Solar, LLC for potential future development of a solar facility on one of the waste cells at the property.  Also in 2011, Olmsted County adopted a new zoning area for the site called Closed Landfill Restricted.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
leah evison (evison.leah@epa.gov)
(312) 886-2064

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




Site Profile Information

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


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