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Lee's Lane Landfill


Main entrance gate to the Lee's Lane Landfill site.

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: KYD980557052
Location: Louisville, Jefferson County, KY
Lat/Long: 38.191110, -085.883060
Congressional District: 03
NPL Status: Proposed: 12/30/82; Final: 09/08/83; Deleted: 04/25/96
Affected Media: Ground water, Surface water, Sediment, Soil, Air
Cleanup Status: Deleted from the NPL - Physical cleanup activities have been completed.
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: Yes
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: None
Site Manager: Donna Seadler (seadler.donna@epa.gov)

Current Site Status

The Lee's Lane Landfill site includes an area where a landfill operated from the 1940s until 1975. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983 because of contaminated ground water, surface water, sediment, soil and air resulting from landfill operations. EPA, the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (KDEP), and the Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD), one of the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs), have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination. Site contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the site. A water line connects nearby residences and businesses to the public water supply. By monitoring ground water and air and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA, KDEP and the Louisville and Jefferson County MSD continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The 112-acre site is located next to the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky. Vegetation covers the site. A chemical plant borders the site to the northeast. The Louisville Flood Protection Levee borders the site to the southeast. Riverside Garden, a residential area, borders the site to the east. The residential area includes low-income residents. A Louisville Gas and Electric Company power plant borders the site to the southwest. The Ohio River borders the site to the north and west.

From the 1940s to 1975, landfill operations at the site accepted domestic, commercial and industrial wastes. Prior to landfill operations, sand and gravel quarry operations took place at the site. In 1975, residents living next to the site reported flash fires around their water heaters. Local authorities detected methane gas. They evacuated residents and purchased seven homes near the site. In 1980, KDEP found 400 drums of hazardous and flammable materials along the Ohio River next to the landfill. In 1983, EPA listed the site on the NPL. Following cleanup activities, EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 1996. The site is not in use. Parties have discussed the potential reuse of the site in the future, including recreational and renewable energy uses.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water, surface water, sediment, soil and air that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste handling practices at the site. Contaminants of concern include benzene, inorganic chemicals, lead, arsenic, methane gas, phenolic resins and heavy metals.

EPA has addressed surface water, soil and sediment contamination at the site.

In 1980, the Kentucky Department of Hazardous Material installed a methane gas collecting, venting and monitoring system at the landfill to address air contamination. EPA also installed air monitoring stations in the residential area next to the site.

Site ground water flows into the Ohio River. While Louisville and Jefferson County MSD, one of the site’s PRPs, continues to monitor ground water as part of the ongoing operations and maintenance (O&M) activities at the site, levels of ground water contamination were not significant enough to warrant cleanup prior to entering the Ohio River.

The access road to the site is gated and No Trespassing signs, indicating the Site’s Superfund status, are posted along the site borders.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

EPA led site investigation and cleanup activities in cooperation with KDEP. Since 1992, the Louisville and Jefferson County MSD, one of the site’s PRPs, has led O&M activities at the site.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 1986, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for the site. The plan included the following activities:

Summaries of site cleanup approaches are also available online in key site cleanup documents, including the ROD.

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Cleanup Progress

In 1980, the Kentucky Department of Hazardous Materials and Waste Management installed a gas venting system on Site.

In 1981, the owners of the site pumped liquid wastes from the exposed drums found near the Ohio River and transported hazardous wastes off site for disposal. The owners of the site also removed drums and other wastes from the riverbank and buried them on site.

In 1987 and 1988, EPA conducted cleanup activities at the site. EPA completed cleanup activities. Ground water and air monitoring are ongoing at the site.

In 1996, EPA deleted the site from the NPL.

EPA finished the activities required by the ROD in 1988. Ground water and air monitoring continue to occur as part of long-term O&M activities for the site.

The site’s fourth Five-Year Review, completed in 2008, found that the cleanup currently protects people and the environment. For the cleanup to be protective over the long term, the Five-Year Review recommended repairs to the gas collection system, access controls to prevent damage to the landfill cap and implementing institutional controls on the site property to restrict ground water use.

In response, the Louisville and Jefferson County MSD undertook repairs to the gas collection system.

Summaries of cleanup activities are also available in Five-Year Reviews online.

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Enforcement Activities

In 1991, EPA negotiated a legal agreement with the Louisville and Jefferson County MSD, one of the site’s PRPs, to perform O&M activities at the site for 29 years, with oversight provided by KDEP.

In 1992 and 1993, EPA reached settlements with over 20 site PRPs. EPA used the settlement funding for site investigation and cleanup activities.

The ROD and Five-Year Reviews online provide additional information on specific legal agreements for the site.

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Community Involvement

EPA worked with the community and KDEP to develop a long-term cleanup plan for the site, reflecting the Agency’s commitment to safe, healthy communities and environmental protection. Community engagement and public outreach are core components of EPA program activities.

EPA conducted a range of community involvement activities to solicit community input and to make sure the public remains informed about site activities throughout the cleanup process. Outreach efforts have included public notices, interviews and information meetings.

For the 2013 Five Year Review underway, EPA sent a notice to the community and site mailing list regarding the start of the Review.  EPA also conducted interviews of community members and local government officials.


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Future Work

Ground water and air monitoring are ongoing at the site.  KDEP conducted surface and subsurface soil sampling at 28 locations on the Site in April 2013.  EPA conducted soil gas sampling along the site perimeter in June 2013.  The data from these investigations is under review by EPA risk assessors.

KDEP plans to install 4 to 5 new groundwater monitoring wells at the Site in late 2013.

EPA completed the last Five-Year Review in 2008 and plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2013.

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Additional Information

EPA keeps additional site documents and information in site information repositories at the locations below. EPA also posts site documents, when available, on EPA’s CERCLIS Site Profile page. For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.

Site Repository

In July 2012, the EPA re-established a records repository at the Shively-Newman Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library at 3920 Dixie Highway, Louisville, KY 40216. The repository includes the Site Administrative Record (those documents used to support the ROD at the Site) and the Deletion Docket (those documents used to support the deletion of the Site from the NPL). While not required by statute, the EPA also included all documents which had already been reviewed and released under the Freedom of Information Act.

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