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Congressional District # 02


EPA ID# MID980608780
Last Updated: December, 2014

Site Description

The 43-acre Southwest Ottawa County Landfill is located in Park Township, Michigan. It was operated as a state licensed landfill until its closure in 1981. The landfill was constructed by Ottawa County in 1968 and received solvents; heavy metals; sludges; oils; municipal refuse; and drums containing unspecified wastes. Lake Michigan is approximately one-half mile from the site.  The site is located in a mixed agricultural and residential area. Degradation of the groundwater has occurred. This groundwater commingles with that from an adjacent Superfund site, Waste Management-Holland Lagoons. The major contaminants in the groundwater include: benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), ethyl ether, chlorobenzene, xylene, and iron.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal and state actions. 

Threats and Contaminants

The major contaminants in the groundwater include: benzene, TCE, ethyl ether, chlorobenzene, xylene, and iron. The contamination in the subsurface soil below the landfill contributed to the groundwater contamination. The primary health threat of concern is drinking contaminated groundwater or eating plants irrigated with contaminated groundwater. The landfill was capped following its closure in 1981 and some of the residences nearby were connected to the municipal water system about that time because their wells were contaminated. The groundwater contamination still remains a threat even though a pump-and-treat system for controlling the groundwater plume was installed.  The system began operating in August 1987.  The system was expanded a number of times over the years and another cap was installed on the landfill at the time of the original construction of the pump-and-treat system.

Cleanup Progress

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is the lead agency for this site. Much of the remedial work was completed by Ottawa County, the operator of the landfill. Under a Consent Order, issued by the State, the site was closed and capped in 1981 and some of the affected residences nearby were connected to the municipal water system. In 1984, a Groundwater Restoration Agreement (GRA) between Ottawa County and the State was signed and resulted in the construction of a cap on the landfill and the installation of a groundwater pump-and-treat system. Over the years additional extraction wells and monitoring wells were installed because the system was not capturing all of the contaminated groundwater. It was also necessary to connect additional residences to the municipal water system. The State concluded in 2004 that the existing pump-and-treat system was unsuccessful in containing the entire target contaminant groundwater plume.  That conclusion was based on their 2004 assessment of the third five-year review and  the 2003 hydrogeologic investigation. The State's assessment located a significant groundwater contaminant plume migrating from the south and southwest corner of the landfill. In March 2005, the State's April 2000 lawsuit  against the County for failure to comply with the GRA was resolved with the court filing a Stipulation and Order of Dismissal (Order). The Order required the County to perform the following remedial actions at the site: construct a new landfill cap; install and operate a new extraction well system around the landfill; prevent the discharge to Lake Michigan of groundwater containing hazardous substances exceeding criteria; implement reliable land and resource use restrictions (institutional controls (ICs)) to restrict construction and use of wells within the groundwater plume; properly abandon all existing residential wells once residents have been hooked into the municipal water supply; and operate the then current downgradient extraction system until it was demonstrated that requirements are achieved.

A fourth five-year review report was issued in September 2008. At the time of this review the County continued to operate the old extraction system and conduct annual groundwater monitoring. It had constructed the new landfill cap and was completing the hook-up of residents into the municipal water supply. The County was in the process of installing the new extraction well system and developing land and resource use restrictions and ordinances as ICs. When all of the required remedial actions under the Order are complete and sufficient groundwater data collected and compiled in quarterly reports becomes available, the State will evaluate the effectiveness of the remedy.

Monitoring at the site continues.  The 2008 FYR stated that FYRs are not required for State lead sites where EPA did not issue a previous decision at the Site.  Since the State of Michigan is the lead for the site, EPA Region 5 has decided to discontinue five year reviews.  


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
dion novak (novak.dion@epa.gov)
(312) 886-4737

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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