Congressional District # 4
NEAL'S LANDFILL (BLOOMINGTON)EPA ID# IND980614556
Last Updated: June, 2015
The Neal's Landfill site occupies nearly 18 acres of property, approximately three miles west of Bloomington, Indiana. The landfill is surrounded by farms and wooded areas. Several residents are located within one-half mile of the landfill. Residents near the site use private wells for drinking water. The landfill accepted industrial and municipal wastes from 1949 until 1972. Between approximately 1962 and 1970, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, formerly Viacom and now doing business as CBS Corporation, dumped waste electrical equipment and parts, including electrical capacitors containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), PCB-contaminated capacitor insulation material, rags, and filter clay at the site. Several springs located at the foot of the landfill feed the Conard's Branch stream which had become contaminated with PCBs. Conard's Branch is a tributary to Richland Creek. Sediments and fish in Conard's Branch and Richland Creek have also become contaminated with PCBs.
In August 1985, Westinghouse, The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the City of Bloomington, Monroe County, and the Indiana State Board of Health signed a Consent Decree (CD) to address PCB-contaminated materials from six sites, located in and near Bloomington, including Neal's Landfill. The CD required Westinghouse to construct an incinerator that would incinerate PCB-contaminated materials from the six sites. Also, in the CD, and prior to the excavation of the Neal's Landfill site, interim cleanup measures were required to be completed by Westinghouse. Due to public opposition to the incinerator and the State of Indiana passing legislation blocking the remedy that was required in the 1985 CD, the CD parties began to explore alternative remedies in 1994 for the six PCB-contaminated sites.
Site ResponsibilityThis site is being addressed through federal, state, and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions.
Threats and ContaminantsThe principal threats posed by the site are from potentially contaminated groundwater. Residents in the vicinity of the site use groundwater wells for drinking water. In addition, spring water, bypassing the treatment plant during large rainfall events, contaminates the surface waters of Conard's Branch and Richland Creek. Sediments in Conard's Branch are also contaminated. The fish in Conard's Branch and Richland Creek are contaminated, and they may pose a risk to anglers and ecological receptors who consume fish.
During 1987, interim control measures were implemented by Westinghouse at the site, including: removal of visible capacitors and stained soils, installation of a two-foot thick clay cap over primary landfill areas, installation of a locked chain-link security fence around the site, removal of sediments and creek banks along the entire 4,500-foot length of Conard's Branch, and installation of a spring water collection and activated carbon treatment system to treat PCB contamination at springs near the foot of the landfill.
After the agreement was reached in 1994 to explore other remedies, little progress was made by the CD parties to implement a final cleanup at the Neal's Landfill site. The Federal Court was unhappy with the progress, and, in November 1997, the Federal Court issued a judicial order stating that the excavation activities for all six sites must be completed by December 2001. The judical order did not include the resolution of groundwater and sediment issues.
On March 29, 1999, EPA signed a Record of Decision Amendment for Neal's Landfill which addresses the source of the contamination. The remedy consists of the following:
- Excavation of selected areas of contamination (referred to as hot spots) greater than 500 parts per million PCBs and removal to an offsite, permitted landfill.
- The current 18-acre landfill will be reduced to 10 acres by consolidation of excavated soils and materials, contaminated with less than 500 parts per million (ppm) PCBs. It was anticipated that through this consolidation the possibility of PCB material becoming wet and migrating from the site would be reduced and perhaps eliminated.
- All visible PCB contamination, such as capacitors or capacitor parts and oil stained soil, to be excavated and treated in an offsite incinerator.
- Construction of a multiple layer landfill cap over the remaining waste material to prevent water from infiltrating into the waste material.
- Areas within the site fence, but outside the landfill cap, will be cleaned up to 25 ppm PCBs on average, with a 6-inch soil cover. Areas outside the fence will be cleaned up to 5 ppm PCBs on average, with a 6-inch soil cover.
- A long-term inspection and maintenance plan for the cap along with a groundwater and surface water monitoring program will be implemented.
On April 19, 1999, the first phase of the cleanup at Neal's Landfill was initiated by CBS. A total of 41,747.5 tons (83,495,000 pounds) of PCB contaminated material greater than 500 ppm PCBs was excavated and shipped off-site to a landfill capable of accepting PCBs. A total of 4,119 capacitors containing PCBs and weighing 484,624 pounds were excavated and shipped offsite to a commercial, permitted incinerator. Approximately 90,000 cubic yards of landfill material were consolidated to reduce the landfill size from 18 acres to 10 acres. Approximately 29,000 tires were excavated and shredded on-site and placed under the landfill cap.
Investigations have been completed to evaluate how to address PCB-contaminated water and sediment. The operating spring water treatment plant treats 450 gallons per minute of PCB-contaminated water, which is only a fraction of the total water flow during rain events. During rain events, PCBs become flushed out of the geology and emerge from a series of springs near the landfill. The water that bypasses the water treatment plant contaminates sediment in Conard's Branch and Richland Creek.
The evaluation of risk to both human and ecological receptors from the water bypassing the water treatment plant has been completed. Sediment sampling has also been completed in Conard's Branch and Richland Creek. A ROD Amendment for the groundwater and sediment operable units was signed on September 25, 2007, and it requires the following:
- Improvement of the spring water collection system to capture PCB-contaminated groundwater seeps which currently bypass the collection and treatment system.
- Install a new effluent line further downstream in Conard's Branch for discharging water treated by the water treatment plant. This will prevent treated water from being collected by the new spring water collection system.
- Continue to operate the 450 gallons per minute (gpm) water treatment plant.
- Implement a soil and sediment cleanup for in-stream sediments, bank soils and floodplain soils in Conard's Branch. The cleanup criteria is 1 part per million, on average, for PCBs located within in-stream sediments and bank soils and 5 ppm, on average, for floodplain soils. The improvements to the spring water collection system are expected to reduce the PCB levels in fish tissue to acceptable levels within 10 years, based upon a fate and transport model.
- Implement institutional controls to prevent residential and commerical development for the 10-acre landfill cap, prevent residential development in the southeast portion of the site, prevent residential development and certain farming activities within the floodplain area of Conard's Branch, and prevent groundwater use on the site.
EPA, the State of Indiana, the City of Bloomington, Monroe County and CBS Corporation have completed global settlement negotiations to implement the groundwater and sediment operable unit remedies at Neal's Landfill, Bennett's Dump, and Lemon Lane Landfill. The settlement also includes the payment of EPA past costs and natural resource damages. The Consent Decree was entered by the Federal Court in Indianapolis on July 23, 2009, and design activities for the site remedy began immediately.
Prior to the remediation of Conard’s Branch, CBS undertook a sampling program in Conard’s Branch from March 7, 2011, through July 13, 2011. The remediation of Conard’s Branch began July 21, 2011. The soil and sediment cleanup for in-stream sediments, bank soils and floodplain soils in Conard's Branch was completed on September 6, 2011. Approximately 84 tons of PCB-contaminated soils and sediments greater than 50 ppm and a total of 838 tons of PCB-contaminated soils and sediments less than 50 ppm were disposed of off-site in a permitted landfill. Concurrently with the Conard’s Branch remediation, a new effluent line and improved spring water collection system was installed and the pre-final inspection was completed on November 30, 2011, for all the remedy components. Construction was completed on all activities on July 19, 2012. All institutional controls are in place and recorded in Monroe County.
In 2014, EPA conducted fish tissue sampling in Conard's Branch and Richland Creek. PCB levels in fish tissue have shown a dramatic decrease since the implementation of the source control remedy in 1999. CBS continues to perform long-term monitoring and operation and maintenance activities.
Community InvolvementA Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) was given to the Citizens Opposed to PCB Ash (COPA) to help the community disseminate information and provide technical assistance to the community. The grant is no longer active.
Property ReuseThe Sycamore Land Trust is now the owner of the landfill and surrounding property.
ContactsRemedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
thomas alcamo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
AliasesNEALS LDFL BLOOMINGTON