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Congressional District # 02


EPA ID# MID000268136
Last Updated: May, 2015

Site Description

The 26-acre Sparta Landfill site, located in Kent County, Michigan, is a closed municipal landfill located approximately one mile southeast of the Village of Sparta and one-fifth mile east of the Rogue River. About 12 acres of the site operated as an open dump (Schwab Dump) from the 1940s until 1972. During this time, general, residential, commercial, and solid wastes were accepted. In 1972, Kent County began operation of the Sparta Landfill on property adjacent to the Schwab Dump and acquired the Schwab Dump property in 1973. The licensed landfill accepted municipal refuse and industrial wastes under Michigan Public Act 87. In 1977, the landfill was closed and a two-foot sand cover was placed over the site. In 1979, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) detected volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including benzene, chlorobenzene, chlorethane, 1,1-dichlorethane, trans-1,2-dichloroethane, 1,2-di-chloropropane, ethylbenzene, methylene chloride, toluene, xylene, and trichloroethylene (TCE) in onsite monitoring wells. Organic solvents were also detected in nearby residential wells. Kent County replaced four residential wells. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) listed the site on the NPL in September 1983. 

Approximately 200 residences are located within a one-half mile radius from the site. Approximately 15 residences are located directly adjacent to the site. The City of Rockford's municipal supply intakes are located on the Rogue River, approximately eleven miles downstream from the site. The public water supply wells for the Village of Sparta are located near a tributary of the Rogue River, approximately two miles upstream from the site.

Site Responsibility

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

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater is contaminated with VOCs and inorganic compounds. Potential health threats to people include ingesting or coming into direct contact with contaminated water and breathing contaminated water vapors related to household uses. 

Cleanup Progress

Under state authorities, Kent County designed and installed a multi-layer landfill cap, complete with a passive landfill gas vent system, in 1996. Under a September 1993 Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) with EPA, the PRP, Kent County Department of Public Works, agreed to conduct a Remedial Investigation (RI) to define the nature and extent of contamination and a Feasibility Study (FS) to evaluate various cleanup alternatives for the site. The RI/FS began after completion of the landfill cap. EPA approved both the RI and FS in September 2000. 

The immediate, potential exposure to contaminated drinking water from the Sparta Landfill site was eliminated with the installation of several new residential wells. The site has also been capped and fenced. These actions will continue to protect residents near the site. EPA issued the proposed plan for the final remedy on August 1, 2000, and signed the Record of Decision for the final remedy on September 27, 2000. The final remedy is no further action with long-term groundwater monitoring. Under an AOC with EPA signed on September 26, 2002, the PRP agreed to implement a long-term groundwater monitoring plan. The PRP submitted the work plan for long-term groundwater monitoring in November 2002 and has been conducting the monitoring on a semi-annual basis.

EPA has completed two five-year reviews for the site in September 2007 and August 2012, respectively. Both reviews concluded that the remedy remains protective of human health and the environment.

Property Reuse

The PRP (Kent County) negotiated a deal with a model airplane group to use part of the Sparta Landfill as a model-airplane landing strip. However, the model airplane group has not used the site yet.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
scott hansen (hansen.scott@epa.gov)
(312) 886-1999

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
susan pastor
(312) 353-1325




Site Profile Information

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


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