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Woodlawn County Landfill


Status of Pre-Design Studies
Site History
For More Information


The main components of EPA's clean-up plan for the Woodlawn Landfill Site (Site) include:

Specific information, which is not currently available, is necessary for the design of these components. Under the terms of the Administrative Order issued by EPA in November 1994, Bridgestone/Firestone and Cecil County, the potentially responsible parties (PRPs), are conducting certain activities, called pre-design studies, to gather the necessary information. PRPs are the companies that EPA has determined are potentially responsible for the contamination problems at a site. EPA and the State of Maryland are supervising the pre-design studies, described below, which are expected to be completed in early 1997.

Determine Design of Ground Water Extraction System

The PRPs will continue to sample some residential wells quarterly (every three months) and others annually (once a year). If Site-related contaminants are detected above acceptable levels at any residence, EPA will require that the PRPs provide and maintain another water supply (bottled water or well water treatment) at the residence.

Over the past few months, the PRPs have installed additional monitoring wells on the Site. EPA will use the information gathered from these new wells to determine whether more monitoring wells will need to be installed this summer. The PRPs will use the information from all monitoring wells to develop a computer model of ground water flow which will help determine the most effective design of the ground water extraction system.

Determine the Volume of Mercury-Contaminated Soil

In November 1995, the PRPs collected soil samples from the former transfer station septic system drain field. The PRPs analyzed the samples to determine how much mercury-contaminated soil must be removed and disposed of. Of the 18 samples analyzed, one contained mercury concentrations slightly above levels determined safe for wildlife. Mercury concentrations in the remaining samples were below the acceptable levels for wildlife. After EPA verifies these preliminary results, the Agency will determine how to address the drain field soil.

Determine Extent of Waste Disposal Area

Also in November 1995, the PRPs dug test pits around the planned cap area to determine the edge of the waste disposal area. Information from the test pits will help EPA make sure that the cap will cover all areas where waste was disposed of.

The PRPs also collected and analyzed waste and soil samples in February and March to determine the stability of the landfill contents and the current soil cover. EPA is concerned that the cap may be damaged if the landfill is not stable enough to support it. The samples will help EPA decide whether the wastes and soil must be compacted or graded before the landfill is capped.

Determine Type of Landfill Gas Collection System

EPA is examining two different types of landfill gas collection systems for use with the cap: a passive gas collection system and an active gas collection system. With the passive system, the PRPs would place piping with holes and vents over the landfill and below the planned cap to collect gases from the landfill and release them into the air. With the active system, the PRPs would arrange the piping and use blowers or compressors to direct collected landfill gases to a gas treatment system. Treated gases would then be released into the air.

In November 1995, the PRPs collected and analyzed samples of gases released by the landfill soil to determine their constituents. EPA and the State will use this information along with historical waste disposal information to determine which gas collection system would best control potential accumulation and movement of landfill gas while providing adequate protection of human health.

Other Planned Activities

In addition to these ongoing activities, the PRPs have planned studies for the future. The purpose of these studies is to make sure that the landfill cap and ground water treatment system will be safe and effective.

Stream Sampling

The PRPs will sample the unnamed creek which crosses the southern tip of the Site to establish its condition before cleanup begins. EPA will evaluate these results and additional sampling results to be gathered during Site cleanup to ensure that the Site and clean-up activities are not negatively affecting the creek. The PRPs plan to conduct this sampling in the spring and summer.

Treatability Studies

The PRPs will conduct specific studies, called treatability studies, to evaluate the different technologies available for removing certain contaminants from the ground water. EPA will select the most appropriate technology for removing those contaminants from extracted ground water.

Air Monitoring

The selected clean-up plan will use an air stripper to remove contaminants from the ground water. The contaminants removed by the air stripper will be released into the air. Before designing the ground water treatment system, the PRPs will develop an air emission model and conduct a risk assessment to determine whether releases from the air stripper might pose a health risk. If EPA and the State determine that releases may pose a health risk, the PRPs will include air emission controls in the design of the air stripper.


The Woodlawn Landfill Site is located in a rural and residential area approximately one mile north of the intersection of Routes 275 and 276 in northwestern Cecil County, Maryland. The 37-acre Site was a privately owned sand and gravel quarry in the 1950s. Cecil County purchased the Site and used it as a municipal landfill from 1960 until 1978. Industrial wastes, including PVC sludge, also were disposed of at the landfill. Please see the map on the first page for more detail.

The Woodlawn Transfer Station, which receives and compacts municipal and commercial wastes, began operations at the Site in 1978. Liquid wastes derived from the compacted trash were discharged to the transfer station septic system until 1990, when these wastes were rerouted to an on-site holding tank.

In 1981, the State found contaminants in the ground water under the landfill. EPA assessed the contamination problems at the Site and placed it on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1987. The NPL is EPA's list of the most serious hazardous waste sites in the country. EPA can use money from the Superfund, a trust fund financed by a tax on the oil and chemical industries, to clean up NPL sites. However, whenever possible, EPA prefers that PRPs, like Bridgestone/Firestone and Cecil County, pay for the cleanup of sites they have contaminated.

After investigating the contamination, EPA signed the Record of Decision (ROD), formally outlining the clean-up method chosen for the Site, in 1993. The selected clean-up method includes:


EPA Contacts

If you have questions about the Woodlawn Landfill Superfund Site, please feel free to contact:

Vance Evans (3EA30)
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA, Region III
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
(800) 553-2509

Remedial Project Manager
Anthony Iacobone
U.S. EPA, Region III
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
(215) 814-5237

Information Repository

EPA has established two local information repositories to provide information about the Woodlawn Landfill Site to community members. The repositories contain the Administrative Record file, which contains the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study reports, the Record of Decision, fact sheets (such as this one), and other Site-related documents. The repositories are located at:

Elkton Public Library
301 Newark Avenue
Elkton, MD 21903
(410) 996-5600

Perryville Public Library
505 Broad Street
Perryville, MD 21903
(410) 996-6050

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