Jump to main content.


Congressional District # 01


EPA ID# IND077005916
Last Updated: April, 2015

Site Description

The 62-acre Gary Development Landfill site is located at 479 Cline Avenue, in a primarily industrial neighborhood. The site is bordered to the north and east by E & J Railway tracks, to the south by the Grand Calumet River and to the west by AMG Resources Corporation. There are wetlands on the southeastern portion of the property along the Grand Calumet River bank.

The Gary Development Landfill was a permitted solid waste landfill that accepted unauthorized hazardous waste for disposal. The landfill operated on the now abandoned site from approximately 1975 to 1989.

The landfill has no proper liners, no engineered cover and no functioning surface water run-on or runoff management systems in place. The company that owned the landfill is no longer in business.



Site Responsibility

The State of Indiana referred the site to EPA because response actions are required to maintain the landfill and there are insufficient funds from a settlement with the former operator to conduct maintenance. There is no responsible party currently maintaining the landfill. EPA received a letter of support from the State of Indiana for placing the Gary Development Landfill site on the National Priorities List.

Threats and Contaminants

The Gary Development Landfill accepted hazardous wastes subject to regulation under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”), including RCRA listed wastes F005 (paint sludge) and K087 (decanter tank tar sludge).

IDEM records also indicate that the landfill accepted hazardous wastes for disposal even though the landfill did not have a permit or interim status under RCRA.

In addition to the listed RCRA waste, the Gary Development Landfill accepted various other wastes that are associated with hazardous substances, such as such as API separator bottoms, fly ash, foundry sand, and lead battery cases.

EPA and IDEM records also indicate that the Gary Development Landfill accepted wastes containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), asbestos, heavy metals, and pesticides, in addition to household wastes.  Asbestos is a “hazardous substance” under CERCLA, as are many VOCs, SVOCs, metals and pesticides

Contaminants from the site have been found in a nearby wetland. This wetland borders the Grand Calumet River, is home to several bird species – such as the marsh wren – that the state considers to be endangered.

Cleanup Progress

The first legal actions at the site were taken against the landfill operator in 1986 for violating the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. A legal agreement was reached in 1996 that included a fine and established a trust for maintenance of the landfill. As estimated costs for maintaining the landfill greatly exceed that of the trust, EPA’s Superfund program took over responsibility for the site in 1997.

In 2002, EPA did an emergency cleanup at the site, removing numerous containers of substances including oils, paint, insecticides, antifreeze and electrical capacitors.

In April 2005, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) found elevated levels of metals, semi-volatile organic compounds and pesticides in samples taken in the wetland areas. In May 2009, IDEM took more sediment samples in wetland areas adjacent to and upstream of the landfill. The results showed concentrations of metals, semi-volatile organic compounds and pesticides more than three times greater than what EPA would expect to occur normally.

The Gary Development Landfill site was added to the EPA’s National Priorities List in September 2011. Sites on the NPL are the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites that may need long-term cleanup. Adding a site to the NPL makes it eligible for financial resources to study the site and develop a cleanup plan. EPA is trying to identify local parties that might be responsible for the contamination. For sites without a viable responsible party, EPA investigates the contamination fully before starting any significant cleanup.

In 2014, EPA entered into a settlement agreement with approximately 20 responsible parties and they will conduct an in-depth environmental investigation at the Site.  None of the parties currently own the property and  EPA gained access to the site via a warrant that was issued in October 2014 by the U.S. District Court. The PRP Group has submitted a work plan for the performance of the contamination study, called the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study.  It is expected that the PRPs may complete the studies by 2016.


Community Involvement

In early December 2012, EPA held interviews with Gary residents to gather information to better understand community concerns about the Gary Development Landfill site. EPA will use information from the interviews to develop a community involvement plan to help encourage effective communication between EPA and the people of Gary. The community involvement plan will contain information about the community and its opinions or thoughts on the site.

Property Reuse

Today, the site is composed of three parcels and none are in use due to the presence of the landfill.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
leslie blake (blake.leslie@epa.gov)
(312) 353-7921

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.


Local Navigation

Jump to main content.