Congressional District # 08
H.O.D. LANDFILLEPA ID# ILD980605836
Last Updated: November, 2014
Site DescriptionThe H.O.D. Landfill is located near the Village of Antioch in Lake County, Illinois. The site occupies about 121 acres, of which approximately 51 acres are the landfill. The site is currently closed. There are approximately 14,300 people living within three miles of the site. Approximately 40 private wells and six public water supply wells are in the vicinity and are used for domestic water purposes. The site is adjacent to a freshwater wetland. Sequoit Creek is adjacent to the landfill and flows into a series of lakes used for recreation. An industrial park, constructed on former landfill areas unrelated to the site, is located west of the site, across Sequoit Creek. The landfill is divided into the "old landfill" and the "new landfill." Operations began in the old landfill in 1963, when wastes were placed in excavated trenches that were covered with excavated materials from each subsequently dug trench. Operations in the new landfill began in 1975 that included construction of a clay barrier between the old and new landfills and the installation of a leachate collection system. The new landfill was closed in 1984, and the entire landfill was covered with a continuous clay cap. Refuse thickness ranges from 12 to 64 feet, with a total estimated in-place volume of 1.5 million cubic yards of waste at the site.
Site ResponsibilityThis site is being addressed through federal and potentially responsible parties' (PRPs) actions.
Threats and ContaminantsThe primary threat to human health is through the ingestion of vinyl chloride-contaminated groundwater. Vinyl chloride (VC) contamination has appeared in a monitoring well, nearby and downgradient of the site.
Cleanup ProgressUnder U.S. EPA Region 5 oversight, Waste Management of Illinois, Inc. as a potentially responsible party (PRP) performed a remedial investigation, detailing the nature and extent of contamination. This work was performed as a result of a 1990 Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) between the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Region 5 and the PRP, directing the PRP to perform a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS). As part of this work, the PRP replaced a municipal well, downgradient of the site. Contamination of this well was one of the main reasons the site was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL). The PRP completed the final RI report in January 1997, after receiving much input from the Region and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA). Region 5 approved the FS in June 1998.
Region 5 issued the Record of Decision (ROD) on September 28, 1998. The selected remedy includes containment of contaminant migration through leachate and gas extraction, waste cap improvements, and groundwater-monitored natural attenuation.
After an unsuccessful effort to have the PRPs sign an AOC for the remedial design and remedial action (RD/RA), Region 5 issued a unilateral administrative order to the PRPs in April 1999 to perform the RD/RA. A PRP began the RD in May 1999, and Region 5 approved the RD in August 2000. The PRP began construction in August 2000 and finished in June 2001. A preliminary closeout report was issued in June 2001 which documents that the PRPs have completed remedial action construction activities at the site.
The PRPs are responsible for long-term maintenance and monitoring of the site. A PRP performed the first periodic long-term monitoring event in February 2002. Long-term operations and maintenance (O&M) is ongoing. The first five-year review was completed on September 30, 2005. In addition, the second five-year review was completed on September 23, 2010. Both five-year reviews found that the remedy is functioning as intended and is protective of human health and the environment in the short-term. Village of Antioch ordinances effectively limit the use of contaminated groundwater near the landfill.
EPA is currently reviewing the Institutional Control (IC) Study-Plan to determine if ICs are functioning as intended. A third five-year review is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015.
H.O.D. Landfill was the first SRI pilot awarded to a site where the construction of the remedy had been completed. A Landmark Ready for Reuse (RfR) Certificate was issued to the H.O.D. Landfill site in fiscal year (FY) 2005.
U.S. EPA worked successfully with stakeholders to update the risk assessment for the site and demonstrated that the remedy would remain protective under a recreational use scenario. Then, U.S. EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) to remove the unnecessary requirements of the remedy that were impeding reuse, and prepared a Ready for Reuse (RfR) Determination to reassure Antioch residents that the site is protective for use as sports fields.
After receiving approval from all parties involved, construction of an energy system to use the H.O.D. Landfill's gas to produce electricity and heat the Antioch Community High School began on December 2002. The project's design and construction serves as a model for other communities that are interested in beneficial reuse of nearby landfill gas resources. It is an example of how to deal with the numerous community concerns related to developing an alternative energy system based on landfill gas. Determining suitable equipment for the system design, construction and operation, while considering local community needs is critical to a successful project.
Design of the landfill-to-gas energy system was so successful, it was recommended by Capstone Turbine and Alliant Energy and has inspired an author to write a "case study of a successful application of microgenerator technology" for inclusion in McGraw-Hill's "Sustainable Energy System Engineering" textbook. The author cites in an abstract "this project is a prime example of how innovative partnerships and programs can take a liability and turn it into a benefit. Solutions have created a "win-win" situation for all involved, including H.O.D. Landfill, the Village of Antioch, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Antioch Community High School, Commonwealth Edison, the PRP (WWII) and its contractor (RMT) and U.S. EPA."
An article on the landfill-to-gas (LFG) energy system was included in the November 2011 in EPA's Tech Trends Newsletter (http://www.clu-in.org/products/newsltrs/tnandt/). Contributing authors to the November 2011 H.O.D. Landfill LFG newsletter article are the Site Remedial Project Manager, Waste Management District Site Manager and an Antioch Community Leader.
Although the community high school recently decommissioned the landfill gas-to-energy system in June 2013, due to its high cost to operate, H.O.D. Landfill is still considered a success story. The community continues to benefit from reusing the landfill for soccer fields, tennis courts, football and baseball fields. Waste Management (PRP/owner) also benefits from the community frequently mowing the landfill cap's lawn by cutting routine O&M costs.
U.S. EPA Region 5 issued the Proposed Plan (PP) to the public in July 1998 and held a public meeting in Antioch, Illinois, in August 1998. Activities to involve the community in the five-year review were initiated in February 2005 and 2010. U.S. EPA placed a public notice of the first five-year review in the Antioch, Illinois Lakeland Newspaper on May 13, 2005 and Libertyville, Illinois Daily Herald on May 11, 2005; and second five-year review in the Chicago Sun Times Newspaper on April 4, 2010 and April 14, 2010. No comments were received, on either five- year review, in response to the public notice. (Also, see sections under Property Reuse and Success Story for more on community involvement.)
EPA submitted a copy of the 2009 H.O.D. Landfill Annual O&M Report to a business stakeholder in the community, on December 23, 2009, following a request. In addition, EPA informed a local citizen in 2009 and 2010, following an inquiry, that PCBs have not been detected and are not a contaminant of concern at the Site.
In July 2002, U.S. EPA awarded a Superfund Redevelopment Initiative (SRI) program grant to promote redevelopment of this 121 acre site. Approximately 14,300 people live within three miles of the site near Antioch Community High School, which was in need of athletic fields. Thirty acres of the H.O.D. Landfill Site were converted to athletic fields to serve the adjacent Antioch Community High School. The athletic facility includes five soccer and hockey fields; three softball fields, and twelve tennis courts. A concession stand and restroom building serve students and spectators. The athletic fields have been ready for play since 2006, and are currently being used by the community.
The Antioch Community School Superintendent saw the cleaned-up, grass-covered landfill and its associated wetlands as potential amenities for the high school, and the site's potentially responsible party (PRP), Waste Management of Illinois Inc. (WWII), had cleaned the site up in a way that would facilitate future use as athletic fields. The wetlands area along one side of the site offers an example wetlands habitat for environmental education and school science projects.
Methane gas extracted from the landfill supplied heat and electricity to the school for several years. The school district initially estimated a savings of $100,000 per year by reducing energy costs and selling the electricity generated during nights and weekends to Commonwealth Edison, the energy services company that serves the Antioch area. In June 2013, Antioch Community High School District No. 117 decided to take the landfill gas--to-energy system offline. It was recently determined that the costs associated with the additional system upgrades needed to keep the system operating efficiently outweighed the benefits of usingthe gas collected at the Site.
ContactsRemedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
Karen Mason-Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
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