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Congressional District # 01


EPA ID# MND980034516
Last Updated: November, 2011

Site Description

The 22-acre Windom Dump site is located in (and is owned by) the city of Windom, Cottonwood County, Minnesota.  The municipal dump began operations in the 1930s; however, between 1957 and 1974 both municipal and industrial wastes, including more than 3,000 drums containing paint sludges, solvents, and cleaners, were disposed of in the landfill.

The Windon Dump is located on the eastern edge of the city in an abandoned, approximately 11-acre sand and gravel pit.  Waste disposal has impacted the surficial aquifer from which the city derives its drinking water supply.  The municipal well field is located within 1,200 feet of the dump and is the sole drinking water supply for about 6,000 residents.  There are several private residences and commercial businesses located within a half-mile radius of the site which are attached to the city water supply.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through state and potentially responsible parties' actions.  The site is part of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Deferral Pilot Agreement with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and MPCA is the lead agency managing the cleanup at the site.

Threats and Contaminants

Site groundwater is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethene (PCE), trichloroethene (TCE), cis-1,2-dichloroethene (DCE), and vinyl chloride (VC); and heavy metals, including arsenic, cadmium, and chromium.  VOCs were also detected in soil at the site.  The contaminated groundwater and soil could have posed a health hazard through direct contact or ingestion.  Possible contamination of private wells and the city drinking water supply with VOCs was a major concern. 

Cleanup Progress

In the 1980s, the MPCA and the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed contamination of groundwater in the vicinity of the dump and in one municipal well, which was subsequently closed.  In 1986, MPCA issued a request for response action to the city of Windom and the Toro Company.  The city of Windom and Toro Company completed a remedial investigation (RI) in 1987, a feasibility study (FS) in 1988, and a remedial action (RA) plan in 1989.  In 1989, MPCA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the site which selected construction of a new cap for the landfill and treatment and monitoring of groundwater.

In 1989, a clay cap was placed over the disposal area, and in 1990 a groundwater extraction (pumpout) system was constructed.  The groundwater effluent is treated by spray aeration and reinfiltrated into aquifer.  Approximately 200 gallons per minute are treated by the groundwater treatment system.  At that time it was anticipated that the groundwater treatment system would be needed for about 30 years.

In 1995, MPCA and EPA completed a five-year review for the site.  The five-year review concluded that the groundwater remedy remained operational and functional and provided adequate protection of public health and the environment. The groundwater extraction and treatment system was discontinued on September 21, 1999 when contaminants were no longer detected.  A five-year review signed  December 2, 1999, recommended permanent termination of groundwater recovery and treatment at the landfill.  This site was deleted from EPA's National Priorities List and Minnesota's Permanent List of Priorities in 2000.  Since that time, the site has remained protective, although recovery wells have been restarted periodically for extra protection as required by the contingency plan when a contaminant is detected.  

Five year reviews were also conducted in 2005 and 2010.  In response to issues raised during the 2005 review, the Windom City Council approved a Declaration of Protective Covenants for the Landfill Closure Area, which were recorded with the Cottonwood County Recorder. The 2010 review concluded that site inspections and operation and maintenance activities continue to be implemented correctly and the site remains protective of human health and the environment.  The review also noted that further evaluation of institutional controls would be ongoing.  The next five year review is expected in 2015.

Property Reuse

A Sitewide-Ready for Anticipated Use (SWRAU) Recommendation Memo was approved on January 31, 2008 by U.S. EPA Region 5's Superfund Division.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
leah evison (evison.leah@epa.gov)
(312) 886-2064

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
Don De Blasio
(312) 886-4360




Site Profile Information

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


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