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Smith's Farm


Landfill cap over the unpermitted former drum disposal area

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: KYD097267413
Location: Brooks, Bullitt County, KY
Lat/Long: 38.037500, -085.733330
Congressional District: 02
NPL Status: Proposed: 10/15/84; Final: 06/10/86
Affected Media: Ground water, Leachate, Sediment, Soil, Surface water
Cleanup Status: Construction complete - construction of landfill caps and leachate treatment system is complete
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: NA
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: Yes
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Not in use
Site Manager: Cathy Amoroso (amoroso.cathy@epa.gov)

Current Site Status

The Smith’s Farm site includes both an uncontrolled dump that received industrial waste from around the 1940s until the 1970s and an industrial landfill operated until 1989. EPA placed Smith’s Farm on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1986 because of contaminated ground water, sediment, soil, and surface water resulting from waste disposal activities at the site. EPA, the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (KDEP) and 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. By removing thousands of drums of industrial waste, consolidating and capping remaining waste, operating a leachate collection and treatment system, and maintaining the landfill caps, EPA, KDEP and the site’s PRPs continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination. Parties also conduct regular environmental sampling and Five-Year Reviews to make sure the site’s cleanup approach continues to protect people and the environment.

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Site Location and Background

The site is a former hazardous waste disposal area in Brooks, Kentucky, 12 miles south of Louisville. Land use in the area is predominantly rural residential, with areas of deciduous forest around the entire site. Forested hills border the site to the north, east and west, and a residential area borders the site to the south. Intermittent streams flow along the north-central portion of the site and drain into the Unnamed Tributary of Bluelick Creek and, then into Floyd's Fork.

The site originally included an 80-acre unpermitted former drum disposal area; a 40-acre formerly permitted landfill; and several smaller, isolated disposal areas where unpermitted disposal of hazardous waste occurred over at least 30 years. Parties used the site from the 1950s to 1989 for the disposal of local construction debris, municipal solid waste and commercial / industrial waste from businesses and manufacturing facilities in the Louisville area. In 1986, EPA listed the site on the NPL.

In December 2006, S&S Development purchased the entire property including the landfill and waste disposal areas. In August 2007, EPA approved the steps S&S Development will implement to make sure future development on the site property does not compromise the integrity and protectiveness of the site’s cleanup. The initial phases of development involved logging and timber harvesting on eight areas of the site outside of the landfill. Logging began in December 2007 and finished in late 2008. S&S Development defaulted and the property has reverted back to the Smith family.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water, sediment, soil, and surface water that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste disposal practices at the site. Contaminants of concern include a variety of volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls and heavy metals. Soil and surface water contamination threatened nearby residential areas.

Cleanup actions addressed site related threats. EPA and the site’s PRPs removed large quantities of drums and contaminated soils. Remaining waste on site is primarily contained under secured landfill caps. The landfills are fenced and secured. A day-to-day operation is in place to maintain the landfills and oversee leachate collection and treatment. Leachate is water that collects contaminants as it passes through contaminated material.

Institutional controls in the form of a restrictive covenant are in place to prevent inappropriate use of the site.

While shallow ground water contamination remains on site, nearby residents do not use it for drinking water. EPA, KDEP and the PRPs monitor the shallow ground water each year. Contamination has not affected the deeper ground water.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

The site’s PRPs lead site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA and KDEP.

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Site Cleanup Plan

Site investigations and cleanup activities have focused on two areas, which EPA refers to as operable units, or OUs. These areas include OU-1: unpermitted former drum disposal area; and OU-2: formerly permitted landfill.

In 1989, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for OU-1; in 1991, EPA amended the cleanup plan. The plan, as amended, included the following activities:

In 1993, EPA issued a ROD for OU-2. The plan included the following activities:

Summaries of site cleanup approaches are also available online in key site cleanup documents, including the ROD and Five-Year Reviews.

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Cleanup Progress

In 1984, at the request of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, EPA completed the removal of several thousand drums from the unpermitted drum disposal area and surfaced the area with clay to address leachate problems.

The site’s PRPs completed cleanup actions for OU-1 in 1995. Operation and maintenance activities began immediately thereafter. The cleanup activities resulted in the treatment of 21,000 cubic yards of contaminated soils and the construction of an 11-acre capped landfill with a leachate collection system.

The site’s PRPs completed cleanup actions for OU-2 in 1998, resulting in the proper consolidation and capping of the 40-acre, formerly permitted landfill and the construction of a leachate treatment plant.

Leachate collection tanks in OU-1 connect the influent feed to the leachate treatment plant. The connection eliminates the hauling of OU-1 leachate by truck to the OU-2 leachate treatment plant or to an off-site disposal facility.

In 2008, parties found additional drums on site. The PRPs removed the drums and contaminated soil.

In 2009, EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences to reduce the scope of the land use restriction to the fenced areas of the two OUs plus an 80-foot buffer around each fenced area.

The site’s fourth Five-Year Review, completed in 2011, found the site’s cleanup approach currently protects people and the environment from site contamination, however, in order to be protective over the long-term there is a need for additional investigation.

Summaries of cleanup activities are also available in Five-Year Reviews online.

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Enforcement Activities

EPA negotiated legal agreements with the site’s PRPs to investigate and clean up the site. The PRPs continue to fund site cleanup, monitoring and oversight activities.

The ROD and Five-Year Reviews online provide information on specific legal agreements for the site.

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Community Involvement

EPA worked with the community and KDEP to develop a long-term cleanup plan for the site, reflecting the Agency’s commitment to safe, healthy communities and environmental protection. Community engagement and public outreach are core components of EPA program activities.

EPA conducted a range of community involvement activities to solicit community input and to make sure the public remains informed about site activities throughout the cleanup process. Outreach efforts have included public notices, interviews and information meetings.

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Future Work

Operation and maintenance as well as regular ground water monitoring activities are ongoing. EPA, KYDEP and the PRPs are discussing the volume of leachate generated by each landfill.

KDEP regularly monitors the discharge from the leachate collection and treatment system.

EPA completed the last Five-Year Review in 2011 and plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2016.

EPA is working with the PRPs to determine whether ground water contamination is affecting surface water streams on site, and to evaluate whether there is a need to use a more aggressive ground water cleanup approach.

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Additional Information

EPA keeps additional site documents and information in a site information repository at the location below. EPA also posts site documents, when available, on EPA’s CERCLIS Site Profile page. For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.

Site Repository

Ridgeway Memorial Library
2nd and Walnut Street
Shepherdsville, KY 40165

Administrative Record

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