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Congressional District # 3


EPA ID# IND980679542
Last Updated: November, 2014

Site Description

The Fort Wayne Reduction Dump Superfund Site is located along the south bank of the Maumee River approximately 1.1 miles east of the U.S. Highway 30 and Maumee River intersection, just east of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The 35-acre site is situated within the 100-year flood plain of the river. The site is bordered by the Maumee River to the north, the Norfolk and Western Railroad to the south, an auto parts salvage yard to the southwest, Martin Landfill to the northwest, and Herber Drain to the east. The communities of River Haven and Sunnymede Woods are directly east and south approximately one-half mile from the site. 

Prior to 1967, the site was uncultivated farmland that may have been used for some limited waste disposal. The site is believed to have started official operations in 1966 and continued to accept residential and industrial wastes until 1974. Currently, primary land use in the area of the site is light industrial and commercial. An abandoned landfill and the Fort Wayne municipal wastewater treatment plant and sludge drying beds are located along the Maumee River in the vicinity of the site.

The site was operated as a recycling center and incinerator from 1967 to 1970 and the residual ashes were disposed on-site. In 1970, Fort Wayne Reduction, Inc., changed its name to the National Recycling Corporation and expanded the recycling plant at the site. The eastern portion of the site (approximately 15 aces) was actively used as an industrial and general refuse landfill. Portions north and west of the recycling plant were utilized for disposal of industrial wastes, building debris, and barrels of liquid and sludge wastes. The western portion (approximately 5 acres) was used as a disposal area for industrial wastes, wire waste, and residual ash from the incinerator operations. A 40- to 60-foot diameter waste disposal cell containing liquids was first reported in a state inspection report from May 1972. A drum burial cell was located on aerial photographs taken in 1973.

The site ceased accepting wastes in 1974. From 1974 until late 1977, the site continued to be used as the base for a waste hauling operation and a recycling center. The recycling center shut down in late 1974, and the hauling operation later moved to a different location. After that time, the site was inactive. In 1984, Waste Management (WM) acquired SCA Services, Inc., which was the former owner of the site, and assumed responsbility for site cleanup activities.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) listed the Fort Wayne Reduction Dump site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in June 1986.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal, state, and potentially responsible parties' actions.

Threats and Contaminants

The site soils were contaminated with a large variety of contaminants, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic compounds. Groundwater is contaminated with low-level VOCs and heavy metals.

Cleanup Progress

EPA conducted a Remedial Investigation (RI) and Feasibility Study (FS) at the site. The RI was completed on January 7, 1988, and the FS was completed on May 2, 1988. The RI concluded that remedial response actions were warranted for site media impacted by past disposal activities. These media included surface water, soils, and groundwater. The FS recommended a remedial action alternative for the site, and EPA signed the Record of Decision (ROD) on August 26, 1988.

The potentially responsible parties conducted the Remedial Design/Remedial Action (RD/RA) under a 1989 Consent Decree. The RA for the Eastern Portion of the site consisted of installing a Subtitle D landfill soil cover and was completed in October 1991. The RA for the Western Portion of the site was performed in three phases. Phase I and Phase II construction activities consisted of the installation of a geotextile wall, a bio-polymer collection trench, and a vertical barrier. Phase III construction activities consisted of the excavation of drums with appropriate disposal of drummed contents. A groundwater management system was installed to collect and treat impacted groundwater from the collection trench and to prevent groundwater from discharging to the Maumee River. A hybrid Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) landfill soil cover was installed on the Western Portion of the site. In addition, the selected remedy required restrictions to control future property use and prohibit the use of groundwater or the installation of wells on-site for a water supply source. The site achieved construction completion with EPA's signing of the Preliminary Close Out Report on September 27, 1995.

Operation and Maintenance (O&M) activities have been conducted at the site since the completion of construction. O&M activities include inspection of the landfill cap to check for erosion, confirming that there is adequate vegetative growth, and verification of the integrity of the fence and the rip rap along the Maumee River. Discharge samples were collected and analyzed, as required by the discharge permit, to verify that the treatment system operated properly and that the discharge was within permit limits. Long-term monitoring of the response action was performed, which included semi-annual sampling and analysis of the groundwater.

The ROD did not stipulate site-specific groundwater cleanup criteria to determine when the operation of the groundwater collection and treatment system could be terminated and groundwater allowed to discharge naturally to the Maumee River. Therefore, subsequent to the 2004 Five-Year Review Report, a process was developed by which the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) developed site-specific groundwater cleanup criteria for protection of the Maumee River. The site’s comprehensive monitoring data was then reviewed against those site-specific groundwater criteria to evaluate the effectiveness of the groundwater treatment system. Upon evaluation of the data, the groundwater treatment system was placed on temporary standby mode to evaluate whether or not, without further treatment, the groundwater constituent concentrations were being sustained at concentrations less than the cleanup criteria (i.e., no rebounding), as well as to evaluate if any adverse impacts were observed. During temporary shutdown of the groundwater system, two additional confirmatory semi-annual monitoring events were conducted to further evaluate the effects of the shutdown of the groundwater treatment system. EPA and IDEM agreed that if these two monitoring events confirmed that the groundwater constituents continued to meet the cleanup criteria, decommissioning of the treatment system could be pursued.

Since specific groundwater cleanup criteria were not stipulated in the 1988 ROD, EPA supplemented the ROD with an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) on September 14, 2010, which articulates the site-specific groundwater cleanup criteria and the process by which they were determined. 

The groundwater treatment system operated from 1995 until July 2008 when, following a determination by EPA and IDEM that the groundwater cleanup criteria had been attained, operation of the groundwater treatment system was suspended. Additional groundwater monitoring continued on a semi-annual basis until May 2010 to verify that groundwater contaminant concentrations did not rebound. Monitoring data showed that the cleanup criteria were sustained on a continuous basis from July 2005 throughout the period of verification monitoring (July 2008 through May 2010). The groundwater treatment system remains shut down, and activities to decommission the system are expected to be completed in 2015.

The assessment of the most recent five-year review, completed in September 2014, found that the remedy is protective of human health and the environment. The remedial measures currently in place are functioning as intended by the decision documents by eliminating the potential exposure pathways identified in the RI and ROD. A review of the institutional controls (ICs) indicates compliance with the stated objectives of the 2012 Environmental Restrictive Covenant. No inappropriate land or groundwater use has been observed. Access to the site is restricted by the use of fencing. Long-term protectiveness at the site requires continued compliance with use restrictions to assure that the remedy continues to function as intended. The next five-year review for the site will be completed in 2019.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
linda kern (kern.linda@epa.gov)
(312) 886-7341

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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