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Congressional District # 8


EPA ID# ILD980605943
Last Updated: May, 2015

Site Description

The 50-acre Woodstock Municipal Landfill ("Woodstock LF") Superfund site is located in Woodstock, McHenry County, Illinois.  The site was a local dump and open-burning area from 1935 until 1958, when the city of Woodstock purchased the property and began to bury its municipal waste in on-site trenches.  The site also accepted industrial waste for disposal.  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 landfill stopped accepting wastes for disposal in 1975.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspected the Woodstock LF site in 1985 and observed leachate seeping out of the waste.  Freshwater wetlands surround the site.  Approximately 14,400 people obtain drinking water from public and private wells located within three miles of the site, including the city's six municipal wells.  The distance from the nearest residential well to the site is about 50 feet.

Site Responsibility

The Woodstock LF site is being addressed through potentially responsible party (PRP) actions under state and federal oversight.

Threats and Contaminants

Off-site groundwater is contaminated with vinyl chloride, a volatile organic compound (VOC).  On-site leachate contains 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 is migrating from the site and contaminating area groundwater, surface water, and the nearby wetlands.  Surface water is contaminated with heavy metals.

Trespassers could be directly exposed to site-related contaminants, which could pose an unacceptable health risk.

Cleanup Progress

EPA identified the city of Woodstock and Honeywell Corp. as potentially responsible parties (PRPs) for the Woodstock LF site.  In 1989, the city and Honeywell 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) with EPA.

During the RI/FS, 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 federal maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) was discovered in area groundwater.

On June 30, 1993, EPA signed a Record of Decision (ROD) that addressed all contaminated media, which included contaminated soil, sediment, and groundwater; landfilled wastes; leachate generation; and (emission of) landfill gases.  The remedy included installation of a multi-layer landfill cap and a groundwater-pump-and-treat system.  In September 1994, EPA issued both the city and Honeywell a unilateral administrative order (UAO) for completion of the remedial design and remedial action at the site.

The PRPs completed a predesign investigation (PDI) report in August 1996.  During the PDI, the vinyl chloride plume was further defined, and additional engineering information was developed to guide the final cleanup actions at the site.  As a result, EPA issued a ROD Amendment 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 did not occur at a rate and to the degree acceptable under state and federal law.  The remedy changes would provide a savings of about $2.5 million.  The September 1994 UAO was then revised to accommodate the changes made to the remedy by the 1998 ROD Amendment.

On February 23, 1999, EPA approved the remedial design (RD) for the Woodstock LF site.  Work on the landfill cap began during the 1999 construction season and was split into two phases.  The first phase occurred 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 on site. 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 site is currently in the operation and maintenance (O&M) phase to monitor the integrity of the landfill cap and the quality of any leachate that is generated.  The only remaining work at the site is wetland restoration, which is on-going. 

EPA completed the second five-year review (FYR) for the site in 2009 and concluded in the FYR report that the remedy remained protective of human health and the environment.  An Institutional Control Plan has been developed and is under review.

The most recent FYR was completed in July 2014.

Success Story

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

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
thomas smith (smith.thomasl@epa.gov)
(312) 886-6540

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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