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Congressional District # 9


EPA ID# IND980794341
Last Updated: May, 2015

Site Description

The Lemon Lane Landfill site is located on the western edge of the City of Bloomington, Indiana (City). The landfill is approximately ten acres in size. The City owns approximately seven acres of the landfill, and a private citizen owns the remaining three acres of the landfill. From about 1933 until 1964, the landfill, which had no bottom liner or runoff controls, accepted both municipal and industrial wastes. From about 1958 until 1964, a large number of electrical capacitors containing polychorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were dumped at the site. Throughout the late 1950s until 1964, PCBs were released from many of the electrical capacitors when metal scavengers broke open the capacitors to reclaim internal metal capacitor parts. Labels found on the capacitors linked the PCB contamination to the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, formerly Viacom Inc. and now doing business as CBS Corporation, which manufactured capacitors in Bloomington from about 1958 until the mid 1970s.

A residential community of approximately 25 homes is located within one quarter mile from the eastern and northern boundaries of the site. A large cemetery exists south of the site, separated from the site by railroad tracks and right-of-way easements. The property east of the site is vacant land owned by Viacom. Within one mile of the landfill there are approximately 90 homes that obtain drinking water from private wells. Several drinking water wells have been found to be contaminated with PCBs. The contaminated well owners have been provided with city water service.

In 1985, Westinghouse, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the City of Bloomington, Monroe County, and the Indiana State Board of Health signed a Consent Decree (CD) that required Westinghouse to perform interim control measures and to construct an incinerator and to incinerate PCB-contaminated materials from six sites in and near Bloomington, including the Lemon Lane Landfill. During the early 1990s, the State of Indiana passed a number of laws that initially delayed and ultimately blocked the construction of the incinerator remedy, required by the 1985 CD. Beginning in 1994, the parties to the CD began to explore alternative remedies for the PCB sites subject to the CD.


Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions.

Threats and Contaminants

The principal health concern at the site is PCB-contaminated groundwater.  In addition, several local springs have been contaminated with PCBs as a result of contaminant migration from the site. The springs flow into Clear Creek, which contains a fish advisory not to eat any fish. Soils are contaminated with PCBs; however, capping the landfill has reduced the possibility of exposure to contaminants. The landfill cap also reduces the possibility of additional contaminants reaching the groundwater.

Cleanup Progress

In 1987, as required by the 1985 CD, Westinghouse removed exposed capacitors and stained soils from the site and capped the site with a synthetic liner. Approximately 400 capacitors were incinerated at a licensed commercial incinerator. In 1987, EPA installed a locked chain-link security fence around the site. The threat posed by direct contact to the site was greatly reduced by capping and fencing. Extensive dye tracing of groundwater was conducted from 1989 through the late 1990s. PCB contamination at a local spring and stream have been conclusively linked to the Lemon Lane Landfill. Nearly all of the nearby residents to the east of Lemon Lane Landfill are served with municipal drinking water. During 1995 and 1996, residential water wells within one mile of the site were sampled and analyzed for PCBs and other hazardous chemicals. Drinking water supplies meet safe drinking water standards.

In February 1996, the parties submitted a schedule to the federal court that identified the specific steps needed to select alternative remedies for each of the six sites subject to the 1985 CD. In February 1997, the parties submitted an amended schedule to the court. During the fall of 1996, Westinghouse and EPA conducted sampling of landfill materials at the site and found areas of high PCB concentrations (up to 200,000 ppm) along the western and southern portions of the landfill.

Due to the lack of progress by the parties in negotiating alternative remedies, the federal court issued a judicial order, stating that the Lemon Lane Landfill must be remediated by December 31, 2000. This deadline does not apply to water treatment at the nearby springs or sediment removal in Clear Creek. 

EPA issued a Record of Decision Amendment for the source control operable unit on May 12, 2000.  The site remedy consisted of the following:

Site mobilization began on May 15, 2000, and the excavation phase was completed in mid-October.  A total of 80,096 tons of PCB-contaminated material was excavated and disposed of offsite in a permitted landfill capable of accepting PCBs greater than 50 ppm.  A total of 4,402 capacitors, weighing 228.1 tons (456,000 pounds), were also excavated and shipped to a permitted incinerator. The RCRA Subtitle C compliant cap was completed in November 2000.

Due to the lack of progress in resolving issues associated with contaminated groundwater and surface water, EPA funded the construction of an interim water treatment plant using emergency authority.  In May 2000, the EPA-funded interim water treatment plant became operational at Illinois Central Spring (ICS).  The plant treats 1,000 gallons per minute of spring water contaminated with PCBs.  Storage tanks capable of storing 1.2 million gallons are used during large rainfall events, since PCB concentrations in groundwater become elevated during rain events. 

CBS has implemented a Long-Term Groundwater Monitoring Plan approved by EPA and the other governmental parties.  CBS and EPA have completed investigations associated with water and sediment.   CBS investigated the karst geology to determine if PCB-contaminated groundwater can be pumped and treated near the landfill, determine if other springs in the area of the landfill require treatment and if sediment requires remediation.  EPA investigated if the Illinois Central Spring water treatment plant should be expanded to treat additional water.  

EPA issued a Proposed Plan for addressing water and sediment on June 14, 2006.  After a 60-day public comment period, EPA signed a Record of Decision Amendment on September 29, 2006.  The remedy called for the following:

The EPA, the State of Indiana, the City of Bloomington, Monroe County and CBS Corporation have completed global settlement discussions to implement the groundwater and sediment operable unit remedies for Lemon Lane Landfill, Bennett's Dump and Neal's Landfill.  Included in the settlement is the payment of EPA past costs and natural resource damages.  The Consent Decree was entered by the Federal Court in Indianapolis on July 23, 2009.

After entry of the CDA, development began immediately on the design planning documents and on March 15, 2010, the delineation sampling for the soil/sediment cleanup at the ICS emergence area, swallowhole area and Quarry Springs area began. Concurrently, construction activities began on the installation of the new effluent line on July 5, 2010. Delineation sampling was completed on July 20, 2010, and excavation at the ICS emergence area, swallowhole area, and Quarry Springs area began on August 9, 2010. The effluent line construction and testing was completed on August 25, 2010. Drainage improvements including the installation of a French drain at the ICS emergence, sealing the swallowhole with grout, installation of a new culvert, and installation of new surface water drainage ways, occurred concurrently with the excavation activities. The excavation and drainage improvements were completed on September 29, 2010. A total of 288 tons of PCB-contaminated soils and sediment with a concentration of greater than 50 ppm PCBs and 1,047 tons of PCB-contaminated soil and sediment with a concentration of less than 50 ppm were disposed of off-site in approved, permitted landfills.

On October 21, 2010, the pre-final inspection for the soil/sediment cleanup and drainage improvements occurred. No issues were identified in the inspection. The final cleanup criteria for drainage ways (1 ppm PCBs on average) and non-drainage ways (5 ppm PCBs on average) were met in all areas. Samples collected from the ICS Emergence area showed an average concentration of 0.3 ppm in the drainage ways and 1.5 ppm in the non-drainage ways. Samples collected from the swallowhole area showed an average concentration of 0.1 ppm in the drainage ways and 2.5 ppm in the non-drainage ways. Finally, in the Quarry Springs area, sampling data showed an average concentration of 0.2 ppm in the drainage ways and 2.1 ppm in the non-drainage ways.

Construction on the expansion of the ICSTF began on November 1, 2010. The eight carbon adsorption vessels were installed and became operational in April 2011. The pre-final inspection for ICSTF was completed on April 7, 2011. Construction was complete for OUs 2 and 3 on September 26, 2012. All institutional controls were put in place and recorded in Monroe County in August 2014. CBS also implemented a Quarry Springs/Rinker Spring investigation plan after the remedy implementation to determine if those springs require treatment. Based on the results of the investigation, the Quarry springs/Rinker spring do not require treatment due to the PCB concentrations in those springs being very low. Monitoring of the springs in the area will continue to determine if any changes occur.

In 2014, EPA completed fish tissue sampling in Clear Creek and fish tissue show a dramatic improvement prior to beginning the site remedies in 2000.

Community Involvement

A Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) was given to the Citizens Opposed to PCB Ash (COPA) to help the community disseminate information and provide technical assistance to the community but the grant is no longer funded.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
thomas alcamo (alcamo.thomas@epa.gov)
(312) 886-7278

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
cheryl allen
(312) 353-6196




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