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Congressional District # 01


EPA ID# MND000874354
Last Updated: November, 2011

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 Of Rochester.  The landfill was owned and operated by the city of Rochester and was licensed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) from 1970 until closure began in 1993.  The first cell of the landfill was constructed without a liner or a system for collecting leachate. The liner for the second cell was poorly constructed, but the third and fourth cells were properly built. The landfill has operated since 1972 and has accepted various industrial wastes, including electroplating sludge, asbestos, transformers, paint, and solvents.  In 1984, Olmsted County assumed ownership and operation of the landfill.

Land use surrounding the landfill is predominantly agricultural and residential.  A quarry is located to the west of the site and a mobile home park is located beyond the quarry. Approximately 200 people live within one mile of the site and use private wells.  

Site Responsibility

Site investigations were undertaken by the state and responsible parties. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is the lead agency for the site.  The site is managed as part of MPCA's Closed Landfill Program. 

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater was contaminated with various VOCs and heavy metals that include chromium, cadmium, and lead at low levels.  Also, there was potential for an intermittent stream, which ran through the site to the Zumbro River, to carry contaminants during heavy rains.  There was also concern about potential health risk from landfill gases to nearby residents.

The risk assessement for the site determined that there were no ongoing exposure pathways that would cause unacceptable risk at the site.

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 conduct a study into the nature and extent of contamination at the site and to conduct final 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 to define the problem and assess possible cleanup methods.  In 1993, the county conducted a dye-tracing study to identify the flow pattern of groundwater in and around the site.  

In June 1994, EPA decided 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 early 1995. 

On-going landfill maintence is provided by MPCA under its Closed Landfill Program. The property is owned by the state and land-use controls and county groundwater restrictions are in place.  A more detailed Land Use Plan will be developed in a future year.  In 2010, the groundwater monitoring network includes 18 monitoring wells and two residential wells; each is sampled three times each year.  Contaminants are not detected in the residential wells and off-site groundwater does not exceed Federal drinking water standards or Minnesota Department of Health's Health Risk Limits for groundwater. 


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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