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Congressional District # 8


EPA ID# ILD980605943
Last Updated: December, 2011

Site Description

The 50-acre Woodstock Municipal Landfill site, in Woodstock, McHenry County, Illinois, was a local dump and open burning area from 1935 to 1958, when the city of Woodstock purchased the property and began to bury municipal waste in onsite trenches. The site also accepted industrial wastes. Approximately 7,200 cubic yards of nickel sludge, generated by the Autolite Plant in Woodstock, were disposed of at the site from 1972 to 1974. The site stopped accepting waste in 1975. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) conducted an inspection of the site in 1985 and observed leachate seeping out of the wastes. During the remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) phase, a pit excavation was performed, and an intact drum and several crushed drums were removed. In addition, a plume of vinyl chloride contamination in excess of the maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) was discovered. Freshwater wetlands surround the site. Approximately 14,400 people obtain drinking water from public and private wells located within three miles of the Site. The city's six municipal wells are also located within three miles of the site. The distance from the nearest residential well to the site is 50 feet.

Site Responsibility

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

Threats and Contaminants

Offsite groundwater is contaminated with vinyl chloride. Onsite leachate contains various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and semi-VOCs that include benzene, chlorobenzene, toluene, and naphthalene. Metals were also detected in the leachate, including cadmium, arsenic, mercury, and cobalt. Leachate, migrating from the site, is causing the groundwater to become contaminated and is also contaminating surface water and the wetlands near the site. Surface water is contaminated with heavy metals. Trespassers could be directly exposed to site-related contaminants which pose an unacceptable health risk.

Cleanup Progress

The City of Woodstock and Honeywell were identified by U.S. EPA as potentially responsible parties (PRPs). In 1989, they agreed to conduct an investigation into the nature and extent of site contamination and the most effective methods to clean up the site.  A remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) was conducted by the PRPs under an administrative order on consent (AOC).

On June 30, 1993, a record of decision (ROD) was signed for the site which addressed all contaminated media and includes: contaminated soil, sediment, and groundwater; landfilled wastes; leachate generation; and emission of landfill gases. The City of Woodstock and Honeywell are the respondents to a unilateral administrative order (UAO) issued by the U.S. EPA on September 2, 1994, for remedial design and remedial action at the site. The predesign investigation (PDI) report was completed in August 1996. During the PDI, the vinyl chloride plume was further defined, and additional information was developed that assisted U.S. EPA in guiding the final actions at the site. A ROD amendment was signed on July 15, 1998, that revised the landfill cap profile and made the pump-and-treat system a contingent component of the landfill remedy.  It would be required only if natural attenuation of the vinyl chloride plume does not occur at a rate, and to the degree, acceptable under state and federal law. These changes have provided savings of approximately $2.5 million. On February 23, 1999, U.S. EPA approved the remedial design (RD) for the Woodstock Municipal Landfill Superfund site.

Due to unforeseen contractual delays, completion of the entire capping project was not completed during the 1999 construction season. Therefore, in order to avoid rework of partially completed areas due to erosion damage over the winter season, the PRPs proposed to split the construction into two phases. The first phase took place from mid-July 1999 through September 1999, and included (1) clearing and grubbing the Site, (2) excavation of contaminated wetlands, and (3) the processing of soils stockpiled onsite. The second phase was the regrading and contouring of the site; placement of the geomembrane, drainage layer, and the protective layer, including topsoil; followed by seeding and revegetation. This phase began in April 2000 and was completed in September 2000.

The September 2, 1994, UAO was revised to accommodate the changes in the remedy due to the July 15, 1998, ROD Amendment.

The site is currently in the operation and maintenance (O&M) phase to monitor the integrity of the landfill cap and any leachate that is generated.  The only remaining work at the site is some required wetland restoration, which is on-going.  The second five-year review for the Site was completed in 2009.  The conclusion of the five-year review was that the remedy remained protective of human health and the environment.  An Institutional Control Plan is to be developed.

Success Story

Placing approximately 40 percent of the site into beneficial reuse is a success story. The sports complex opened in 2007.

Community Involvement

The level of community involvement has been low.

Congressional Interest

Congressional interest in the site has been minimal.

Property Reuse

The northern portion of the Site has been placed into reuse as a sports complex with soccer and baseball fields.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
david linnear (linnear.david@epa.gov)
(312) 886-1841

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
janet pope
(312) 353-0628




Site Profile Information

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


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