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Congressional District # 16


EPA ID# ILD980497663
Last Updated: May, 2015

Site Description

The Belvidere Municipal Landfill Site is located in Belvidere, Illinois just west of the city limits. It's bordered on the west and south by the Kishwaukee River, on the east by two ponds and Appleton Road, on the southeast by Spencer Park, and the north by a gravel pit. The site occupies about 19 acres of land.  Much of the land adjacent to the landfill comprises a portion of the Boone County Conservation District, which sponsors an experimental prairie and recreational areas.

The landfill was owned and operated by the City of Belvidere from 1939 to 1965 as a municipal landfill.  From 1965 to 1973, the City retained ownership while private contractors operted the landfill.  It was during this time that industrial wastes were believed to be accepted at the landfill.  Inspection reports written by Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) indicate that special wastes, some of which are currently classified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as hazardous, were disposed of in the landfill from 1970 to 1973.  The landfill was formally closed in 1973.  Preliminary site investigations found that the drum disposal area was contaminated with PCBs and the groundwater was contaminated with volitile organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), PCBs and metals.  Additionally, the landfill cover was determined to be inadequate in some areas and the the contaminants posed a threat to surface and groundwater.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed by the City of Belvidere, IEPA and EPA.

Threats and Contaminants

Remaining site soils contain low levels of VOCs, including benzene, toluene, and xylenes; PAHs; PCBs; nitrite; and heavy metals, including chromium. Surface water contains low levels of VOCs, including trichloroethylene (TCE), nitrate, and heavy metals. None of these contaminants exceed established federal safety standards. Individuals who came into contact with contaminated soil could have been at risk prior to the completion of cleanup actions. The shallow groundwater under the site, which was transporting significant levels of contaminants toward the Kishwaukee River, was contained by a series of wells, creating a hydraulic barrier between the landfill and the Kishwaukee River. In April 2013, the IEPA sampled sediment, water, and fish tissue from deeppit pond. The sampling verified all contaminants were found to be below health-based standards.

Cleanup Progress

Subsequent to the site being listed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in December 1982, studies were conducted to determine the nature and extent of the contamination at the site as well as the cleanup alternatives needed to protect public health and the environment from contact with landfilled materials and contaminated groundwater. The studies estimated that 10 percent of the landfill material is in contact with groundwater.  An interim cleanup action started in December 1986 to remove PCB contaminated soils and drums containing contaminated liquids and sludges from the west side of the site. The final cleanup plan which is explained in a document called a "Record of Decision" (ROD) was signed on June 29, 1988. In addition to drum removal, remedial actions included installation of a groundwater contaminant plume pump and treat system (barrier extraction system), excavation and consolidation of PCB-contaminated soils with landfill material prior to capping, the installation of a new, multilayered Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) landfill cap, the installation of a long-term groundwater monitoring well system, access restrictions, deed restrictions and flood control measures.  A Consent Decree (CD) was completed among the EPA, IEPA, and the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) on April 12, 1989 to conduct the cleanup action. The cleanup workplan was approved on March 28, 1990 and the remedial action was certified complete on May 29, 1992.  

Since that time, the PRPs have conducted operation and maintenance (O & M) at the site. The city of Belvidere, one of the settling PRPs, takes responsibility for operating the remedy.  According to the conditions set forth by an EPA and IEPA letter to the PRP consultant on September 7, 1995, the barrier extraction system has been shut down and monitoring has continued.  Groundwater contaminant concentrations have been generally stable or declining. All current monitoring data indicate that the contamination remains contained within the landfill cap and on the deed restricted property.There is no usage of the water between the landfill and the Kishwaukee River; the property between the landfill and the river belongs to the Boone County Conservation District, which precludes future use for drinking of the affected portion of the groundwater.   

As a result of the stable conditions, O & M reporting has been reduced to an annual submission. In addition, the shutdown configuration of the extraction system should continue on an indefinite basis, contingent upon the results of future monitoring.  The third Five-Year Review was completed in September 2005.  The report concluded that because the remedial actions at the site are protective, the site is protective of human health and the environment.  Monitoring of the landfill gas vents and groundwater as well as maintenance of the RCRA landfill cap and the extraction sysgem is on-going.  Maintenance, monitoring, and institutional controls support long-term remedial protectiveness.

The site was deleted from the NPL in February 2015.

The fifth Five-year Review was completed on May 13, 2015. The next  review will be in May 2020.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
thomas smith (smith.thomasl@epa.gov)
(312) 886-6540

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
janet pope
(312) 353-0628




Site Profile Information

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


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