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Congressional District # 06


EPA ID# WID980901243
Last Updated: June, 2011

Site Description

The 21-acre Lemberger Landfill, Inc. site (LL) is located in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, approximately one-quarter mile from the affiliated Lemberger Transport and Recycling (LTR), also a National Priorities List site.  LL and LTR are also near the active Ridgeview Landfill.  Farm and wide spaced rural residences that utilize groundwater for drinking are near the site.  The area is used for hunting.  Part of the site is bordered by a marsh. Wetland vegetation occupies low-lying areas of the site. The nearby Branch River is used for swimming, fishing, and canoeing. 

The site was formerly a gravel pit, and was used as an Township dump from 1940 to 1970.  Lemberger Landfill, Inc. operated LL as a sanitary landfill under a license from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) from 1969 to 1976. An estimated 1,750 to 2,500 cubic yards of fly ash were disposed of monthly.  In 1980, WDNR responded to complaints by nearby residents that leachate from LL had seeped onto their properties. Lemberger Landfill, Inc. filed for bankruptcy in 1983. In 1985, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) contamination, including 1,1,1-trichloroethane and trichloroethylene, was detected in seven residential wells northwest of the site at levels that exceeded drinking water standards.   

Site Responsibility

In 1985, WDNR replaced residential wells where VOCs were detected with much deeper wells.  U.S. EPA funded the Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study.  A group of potentially responsible parties named the Lemberger Site Remediation Group (LSRG) have implemented the cleanup actions under U.S. EPA and WDNR oversight.  

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater contaminated by VOCs, including 1,1,1-trichloroethane and trichloroethylene, extends about one mile to the northwest from the site.  VOCs that were present in the shallow groundwater near LL have attenuated.  The deeper groundwater contamination appears to originate from LTR not LL.  Heath threats from direct contact with waste, leachate and contaminated soil have been addressed by construction of a slurry wall to contain the contaminated shallow groundwater and a multilayer soil cover over the landfill, and by withdrawal of leachate.

Cleanup Progress

In 1985, WDNR installed replacement wells for seven residences.  These wells are cased to 250 feet below ground surface. 

From 1987 - 1991, U.S. EPA conducted a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study to determine the extent and nature of contamination and to identify cleanup alternatives. In 1991, U.S. EPA selected the final remedy to clean up the site, which includes deed restrictions and construction of: a fence around the site; a slurry wall to contain the contaminated shallow groundwater; a multi-layer soil cover over the landfill; a leachate withdrawal system; and a groundwater pump-and-treat system combined with the system for Lemberger Transport and Recycling.  In 1992, the LSRG entered into a consent decree with U.S. EPA to implement the final cleanup.  In 1997, the LSRG completed construction, and started operation of the leachate withdrawal and pump-and-treat systems.  In 2001, the PRPs added four additional pumping wells to the groundwater pump-and-treat system and operated the system until August 2006. 

From August 2006 through August 2008, the LSRG performed a monitored natural attenuation (MNA) study, which included a temporary shut-down of the pump-and-treat systerm.  From December 2008 through December 2009, the PRPs conducted a study of the need for continued leachate withdrawal, which included shut-down of the leachate withdrawal system.  EPA has allowed continued shut-down of the pump-and-treat system because operating the existing system provides little benefit. 

In the 2010 five-year review, EPA made a number of determinations, largely based on the MNA study, including: the groundwater monitoring plans need to be updated; the existing pump-and-treat system had limited effectiveness because a substantial amount of highly groundwater from LTR was not being captured; there had been deficiencies in operation of the pump-and-treat system; release of VOCs to groundwater from LTR will continue from LTR for a very long period of time; it would not be appropriate for EPA to accept MNA as the major component of the groundwater cleanup; contaminant entry into Branch Creek needs to be evaluated; leachate withdrawal requirements need to be reviewed; and options to improve the pump-and-treat system need  to be evaluated.  At this time (January 2011) the LSRG under EPA and WDNR oversight is developing updated groundwater monitoring plans, a plan for additional aquifer testing to determine whether the pump-and-treat system can be improved, and an evaluation of whether continued leachate withdrawal is necessary.  WDNR staff have determined that contaminant migration into Branch Creek will not cause a significant threat to fish or wildlife.              


Community Involvement

U.S. EPA recently issued a notice for the 2010 five-year review. 

Property Reuse

The site owner entered an Environmental Protection Easement and Declaration of Restrictive Covenant with the LSRG restricting usage of groundwater, and disturbance of soils.  Groundwater in the vicinity of the contaminant plume is restricted through State of Wisconsin Regulation NR 812.09. 


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
demaree collier (collier.demaree@epa.gov)
(312) 886-0214

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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