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Congressional District # 03


EPA ID# WID980610307
Last Updated: November, 2014

Site Description

The Tomah Municipal Sanitary Landfill, located in Monroe County, Wisconsin, is a landfill that encompasses approximately 18 acres of the 40-acre site. The City of Tomah owned and operated the landfill from 1959 to 1979 and was licensed by the State of Wisconsin to accept municipal wastes. The landfill is unlined.  A local facility, Union Camp Corporation, notified the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it had sent to the landfill 1,514 drums of wastes, containing barium, chromium, lead, spent solvents, ethyl acetate, and trichloroethylene (TCE).  The city of Tomah has a population of approximately 7,300 people.  Municipal wells, serving Tomah, are located within a three-mile radius of the site.  About 2,000 people live within a one-mile radius of the site and use private wells for drinking water supplies.  A freshwater wetland is located within 1,000 feet of the landfill. 

Site Responsibility

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

Threats and Contaminants

In 1984, EPA inspected the site and confirmed that onsite groundwater is contaminated with heavy metals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 

Cleanup Progress

In 1993, the City of Tomah voluntarily hooked-up an unincorporated subdivision, adjacent to the landfill, to municipal water.  An administrative order on consent (AOC), dated January 11, 1994, to perform a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS), was entered into voluntarily by the potentially responsible parties (PRPs), including the city of Tomah, Union Camp Corporation (Union Camp), and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs with EPA.

The RI/FS consisted of the collection of groundwater and landfill gas data to support remedial decisions at the site.   During spring 1996 under direction of EPA, an active landfill gas extraction system was installed along the southern boundary of the landfill, adjacent to some residential properties, to prevent further methane migration.  A final RI report, dated July 15, 1996, was submitted by the PRPs.  The site is divided into two operable units (OUs): source control and groundwater.  A final FS for source control was approved in December 1996.

The record of decision (ROD) for the source control was signed in September 1997.  The selected remedy in the ROD included a dual barrier cap, expansion of the existing gas collection system, and monitoring.  An AOC for remedial design (RD) was signed on September 30, 1998 between EPA and Union Camp.  Union Camp completed the RD in January 2000.  EPA issued a unilateral administrative order (UOA) for remedial action (RA) to Union Camp on September 30, 1999.  Union Camp completed construction of the source control remedy (landfill cap and gas collection system) in summer 2000.  EPA and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) conducted the final inspection on August 16, 2000.  The consent decree, signed on February 29, 2002, for the RA, superseded the UAO.

The ROD for the groundwater OU was signed in September 2003.  The selected remedy in the ROD included monitored natural attenuation and monitoring Deer Creek.  The long-term monitoring program, initiated under the source control remedy, will be evaluated and enhanced as part of the groundwater RD/RA.  The Preliminary Close-out Report was signed in December 2003.  The groundwater OU RD/RA consent decree was signed on March 31, 2005.  The RD was completed in July 2005.  Construction of the monitoring wells for the remedy was completed in summer 2005.  EPA and WDNR conducted the pre-final inspection on November 1, 2005 and the "punch list" of tasks were completed on February 1, 2006.  The long-term groundwater monitoring program has started and is expected last for 40 to 50 years.

The first Five-Year Review was completed in April 2005.  The second Five-Year Review was completed on January 11, 2010. The Five-Year Review determined water samples indicate site plume is reducing in size. The next five-year review will be completed in 2015. 

A Site Wide Ready for Anticipated Use (SWRAU) was completed in September of 2014. This documented all cleanup goals in the ROD have been achieved for any media that may affect current and reasonably anticipated future land uses, so thatthere are no  unacceptable risk. All required institutional or other controls are in place.


Property Reuse

The property is not in reuse.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
jenny davison (davison.jenny@epa.gov)
(312) 886-0184

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
susan pastor
(312) 353-1325




Site Profile Information

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


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