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U.S. EPA REGION 5
KENT COUNTY
GRAND RAPIDS

Congressional District # 03

FOLKERTSMA REFUSE

EPA ID# MID980609366
Last Updated: September, 2011

Site Description

The eight-acre Folkertsma Refuse site was operated as a licensed yet improperly zoned landfill, accepting mostly foundry sand and some construction debris. The property was sold in 1969 and operated as an industrial disposal site, until the former owner repurchased it in 1972. Between 1969 and 1972, additional foundry sand and other unidentified wastes were deposited at the site. A pallet repair and manufacturing company erected three pole buildings on the site and started a pallet manufacturing business that continues to operate on part of the site. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) was notified of past waste disposal activities at the site in 1981. In 1983 U.S. EPA examined information describing the disposal activities on the property and determined a preliminary investigation of possible contamination at the site should be conducted. U.S. EPA completed the preliminary investigation in 1984. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources also investigated the property in 1985 and determined there was 40,000 cubic yards of landfilled waste at the site, consisting of foundry sand, chemical products, construction debris, and other industrial wastes from heavy manufacturing operations. However, a later investigation conducted by U.S. EPA estimates there are 57,000 cubic yards of landfilled waste at the site. Approximately 8,000 people live within one mile of the site. 

Site Responsibility

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

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater beneath the landfill was contaminated with arsenic. Sediments from two drainage ditches on the property and landfilled materials contained polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons and metals, including arsenic, cadmium, chromium, nickel, and lead. Possible health threats could have occurred from direct contact with or ingestion of contaminated groundwater, sediments, or landfilled materials as well as from inhaling contaminated dusts. Contaminated sediments posed an environmental risk because of the possibility that the chemicals could bioaccumulate. 

Cleanup Progress

In 1988, U.S. EPA initiated an investigation to determine the type and extent of contamination at the site and to identify alternative technologies for cleanups. The study was completed in 1990, and U.S. EPA selected a final cleanup remedy for the site in 1991. The final cleanup remedy involved excavating contaminated sediments at the site and placing these sediments in the landfill. A clay cap was then constructed over the contaminated sediments and landfill materials. In addition, improved drains provided for continued drainage of the site, and gas vents were placed on each side of the landfill to prevent the buildup of gases. The pallet manufacturing company was relocated to an area north of the landfill limits. Fencing and deed restrictions control access and use of the site, and groundwater and drainage water monitoring ensure the effectiveness of the cleanup.

All construction for the cleanup remedy was completed in 1994. This site was deleted from the National Priorities List on April 10, 1996.  U.S. EPA conducted five-year reviews for the site in 1999, 2004 and 2008.  The five-year reviews included interviews, site inspections and a review of monitoring data.  The 1999 and 2004 five-year reviews concluded the remedy was protective of human health and the environment, but recommend continued groundwater, drainage water and gas monitoring.  The 2008 five-year review indicates annual groundwater, drainage water and gas monitoring can be suspended, but recommends collecting groundwater, drainage water and landfill gas samples prior to the next five-year review in 2013 to confirm the underground drains and containment remedy continue to work properly.  The potentially responsible parties updated the Operation and Maintenance Plan in 2009 consistent with the recommendations in the 2008 five-year review report.  The potentially responsible parties conducted semi-annual site inspections in April and September, 2009 and 2010, and in April, 2011 and did not identify any maintenance issues or land use changes.  The site inspections and routine maintenance activities are summarized in the 2009 and 2010 Annual Environmental Monitoring Reports.  U.S. EPA and the potentially responsible parties are also updating the 1995 restrictive covenant to increase the long-term effectiveness of the land and groundwater use restrictions at the site.

Property Reuse

EPA determined the site is ready for use on September 20, 2007. 


Contacts

Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
karen cibulskis (cibulskis.karen@epa.gov)
(312) 886-1843

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
dave novak
(312) 886-7478

Site Profile Information

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

 


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