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Congressional District # 4


EPA ID# IND050530872
Last Updated: February, 2015

Site Description

The Northside Sanitary Landfill (NSL) covers approximately 65 acres of a 180 acre parcel of land. Over 16 million gallons of hazardous wastes have been deposited in the landfill. The NSL began operating in the 1950s as an open dump and was licensed by the State in 1971 to accept hazardous wastes. From 1972 to 1973, numerous operating deficiencies, including the failure to cover refuse, surface burning, underground fires, and leachate and vermin problems, resulted in orders from the Indiana State Board of Health (ISBH) to cease operations. In 1982, the owner at the direction of the ISBH installed a leachate collection system and three submerged leachate collection tanks on the western side of the site. After the owner removed 400,000 gallons of leachate from the three tanks and disposed of it by spraying it on the landfill, the Indiana Division of Land Pollution Control advised the owner that leachate would have to be solidified prior to disposal. By early 1983, the State Environmental Management Board issued a notice of violation and ordered the owner to stop accepting hazardous waste. Approximately 50 residences who are located within one mile of the site and 1,750 residences who are located within three miles of the site use wells for drinking water. The nearest town is Zionsville, Indiana, which is about six miles south of NSL. An unnamed ditch runs along the east side of the site into Finley Creek. Finley Creek flows into Eagle Creek, which runs for 10 miles before it empties into Eagle Creek Reservoir, which supplies approximately six percent of the drinking water for the city of Indianapolis.

Site Responsibility

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

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater, soils, surface water, and sediments have been contaminated with pesticides, acids, oils, metals, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including benzene and trichloroethylene (TCE). Potential health risks exist from accidental ingestion of contaminated soils and sediments. Contaminated landfill leachate and runoff into surface water may also pose health risks to humans or wildlife in and around the water. 

Cleanup Progress

The Remedial Action (RA) components for NSL listed in the 1987 Record of Decision (ROD), 1991 ROD amendment, and 1991 Consent Decree include: a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous waste cap with gas venting; a hydraulic isolation wall on the south and west sides of the landfill; a combined leachate/onsite groundwater collection system; a transfer station for collection and storage of leachate/onsite groundwater to be trucked for disposal to an offsite treatment plant; a site fence; and a groundwater and leachate monitoring program. These construction activities took place during 1994 through 1996. A Preliminary Close Out Report documenting construction completion was written and signed in September 1996. The site is currently in operation & maintenance.  A five-year review was completed in September 1999, and found that the remedy remains protective of human health and the environment.  A second five-year review was completed in September 2004, and found that the Site remedy remains protective of human health and the environment.  A third five year review was completed in August 2009 and found the site to be protective in the short-term.   An Explanation of Significant Difference document regarding the Site remedy was signed in December 2009, which outlined the completion, operation and maintenance of an on-site constructed wetland treatment system.  A fourth five year review was completed in May 2014 and found the Site to be protective of human health and the enrironment in the short term.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
jeffrey gore (gore.jeffrey@epa.gov)
(312) 886-6552

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
cheryl allen
(312) 353-6196




Site Profile Information

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


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