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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. 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.  The most recent Five-Year Review was inconclusive.  EPA needs more information to determine whether the current remedy is protective.  At this time, the gas collection system venting gases from the landfill is not functioning.  EPA is testing homes near the landfill to ensure that contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the site.

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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, leadarsenic, 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 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.

In June 2013, EPA sampled gases in the soil from the landfill toward the residential community.  This sampling showed that gases were migrating off the site at unacceptable levels, indicating that the gas collection and venting system is ineffective.  In June 2014, EPA conducted vapor intrusion sampling in 33 nearby homes in order to determine whether the gases are present in the homes.  Methane, which had been a primary concern at the time of EPA’s initial response at the site, does not appear to be a threat at this time.

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.

Because of the age of the existing wells, and the need for more extensive groundwater data, KDEP installed 5 new groundwater monitoring wells in April 2014.  The wells were sampled in May 2014 and results should be available by the end of July 2014.

    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:

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