Modern Sanitation Landfill
Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)Pennsylvania
EPA ID# PAD980539068
19th Congressional District
Last Update: January 2015
Other NamesModern Sanitation
Current Site StatusThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is currently drafting it's third Five-Year Review of the Modern Sanitation landfill. The purpose of the Five-Year Review is to determine if the remedy at the Site is protective of human health and the environment. An electronic version of the second Five-Year Review Report is available by searching on the Superfund Documents website.
Site DescriptionThe Modern Sanitation Landfill Site, located in York County, Pennsylvania, is a a portion of what is referred to as the "Modern Landfill", an active landfill facility permitted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) to accept municipal waste and a number of non-hazardous industrial wastes. The Site is 66 acres and was once a farm used as a landfill for open domestic dumping since the 1940s and reportedly had received hazardous wastes between 1976 and 1979. The Modern Sanitation Landfill is . The EPA and PADEP performed tests that indicated contamination from toxic organic chemicals in the groundwater under the Site. Similar contaminants have been detected in springs adjacent to the landfill and in some private wells near the Site. The current operator and the state are collecting and treating the contaminated groundwater on the western edge of the landfill. The Site is contained within the Modern Landfill, an approximate 371 acre permitted landfill. The total area of the Modern Landfill property is 535 acres.
Site ResponsibilityThis Site was the responsibility of federal and state governments, the site owner and parties potentially responsible for site contamination.
NPL Listing HistoryOur country's most serious, uncontrolled, or abandoned hazardous waste sites can be cleaned using federal money. To be eligible for federal cleanup money, a site must be put on the National Priorities List. This site was proposed to the list on October 15, 1984 and was formally added to the list on June 10, 1986. Construction of the cleanup was completed in 2000.
Threats and ContaminantsThe ground water, surface water, and soils are contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including benzene and chloroform from past disposal practices at the landfill. Private wells contain site-related contaminants. People who accidentally ingest or come into direct contact with contaminated ground water, surface water, or soil may be at risk. A drainage ditch into Kreutz Creek receives the outfall from an active leachate and ground water treatment system on the site. The creek is stocked seasonally with trout. The possibility exists of the bioaccumulation of contaminants in fish, livestock, and crops. Ground water and surface water are used to irrigate crops and provide water to grazing livestock.
Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.
Under an order from Pennsylvania, Waste Management, Inc. completed an intensive study of contamination at the site. In mid-1991, the EPA selected a remedy for the site that includes: continuation of all activities initiated previously, including the collection and treatment of leachate and groundwater; monitoring of groundwater and surface water; completion of a landfill cap system and final cover for the 66-acre landfill; maintenance of site fencing; and, addition of groundwater extraction or monitoring wells to the present system as needed.
In 1993, a Consent Decree was negotiated with Modern Sanitation, a potentially responsible party, which requires the company to complete construction of a landfill cap, operation and maintenance for the Site, and reimbursement of all past costs associated with EPA's response related to the Site
Sixty-two acres of the original 66-acre landfill are equipped with a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) approved low-permeability cap. The remaining four acres, referred to as the "highwall cap", was addressed under the permit for the Northwestern Expansion of the facility issued in 1999. In September 2000, the four-acre highwall area was covered with a primary and secondary liner system. The operations of the leachate collection system, groundwater extraction system, and gas collection system are being overseen by the State of Pennsylvania under their solid waste program.
In June 2001, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the Interim Remedial Action Report which established that all construction activities required by the Record of Decision for the Modern Sanitation Landfill have been completed. All existing protective measures will continue to occur. These measures include, the collection and treatment of leachate and groundwater; gas extraction, monitoring of groundwater and surface water; maintenance of site fencing; and addition of groundwater extraction or monitoring wells to the present system as needed.