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Congressional District # 02


EPA ID# MID060179587
Last Updated: March, 2013

Site Description

The 82-acre Waste Management of Michigan - Holland Lagoons ("Holland Lagoons") site is located at 2700 N. 168th Avenue between Riley and James streets near Holland, Ottawa County, Michigan. The Holland Lagoons site is located about one-half mile from the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. The area is of mixed residential and agricultural use. The Southeast Ottawa County Landfill ("SOCL") Superfund site is adjacent to the Holland Lagoons site to the northeast.

The Holland Lagoons site was operated by Jacobusse's Refuse Service Company ("Jacobusse") from about 1945 until 1972 and by various successor companies, including Waste Management of Michigan ("WMI") until 1980. The site accepted solid and liquid wastes for disposal from about 1945 until 1980. Jacobusse constructed its headquarters and a maintenance facility for its fleet of trucks onsite as well.

From about 1957 to 1964, Jacobusse hauled municipal trash to an area in the middle of the Holland Lagoons site and burned it, burying only the burned remains in the ground. After 1964, Jacobusse hauled municipal trash to other area landfills instead.

Liquid industrial waste was placed into waste disposal ponds ("lagoons") from 1967 to 1978. Liquid wastes deposited into the lagoons during that time include cider vinegar tank settlings, liquid/sludges from an organic pigment plant, metal hydroxides, wet milk and food processing bacterial digester sludges, and wastes from an area specialty-chemicals company. The lagoons were abandoned in 1978, and the sludges were excavated, mixed with lime to stabilize them, and hauled to the SOCL for disposal. WMI later excavated discolored soils from the haul road as it was suspected that these soils contained sludges that spilled from the trucks that hauled the lagoon wastes to the SOCL.

The Ottawa County Health Department allowed the disposal of 43 drums of technical grade chloral hydrate at the site in 1968. The state located and successfully removed the still intact drums in August 1980 for offsite disposal.

Pursuant to CERCLA, U.S. EPA inspected the Holland Lagoons site in 1982. Subsequent to the submittal of the Site Inspection report, U.S. EPA proposed the Holland Lagoons site to the National Priorities List ("NPL") on October 15, 1984 and added it to the final list on June 10, 1986.

Site Responsibility

The WMM site is being addressed through a combination of state and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions.

Threats and Contaminants

WMI performed a remedial investigation ("RI") and baseline risk assessment, including an ecological assessment at the site from 1994-1996. Groundwater sampling results showed that there is a volatile organic compound ("VOC") contaminant plume beneath the site; however, one source of the plume is likely the SOCL site, which is immediately upgradient of the Holland Lagoons site. The SOCL has a groundwater contaminant problem that Ottawa County has been trying to mitigate by operating a pump and treat action at the SOCL, but it does not appear to be fully preventing the advance of the contaminant plume. For example, benzene is present in some Holland Lagoons site monitor wells at levels above the state generic cleanup standard. This compound is also found offsite in upgradient monitor wells at similar levels. Additionally, acetone was found at high levels in some Holland Lagoons site wells during the initial sampling rounds, but that data quality was questioned. Sampling procedures were modified during later rounds and acetone was subsequently not found to be above the state residential cleanup standard.

Groundwater sampling during the RI has also demonstrated that arsenic and other metals are present in a few onsite monitor wells above state generic residential cleanup standards. The levels of contamination and the pattern of detections are consistent with contaminants from the upgradient source at the SOCL. Similar wastes were disposed of at both sites; however, the identified source areas at the Holland Lagoons site have been removed. MDEQ has been unable to establish a causational link between the Holland Lagoons site and the current groundwater contamination. Lastly, three metals were detected slightly above generic residential criteria, but they have not been found in the upgradient wells. Subsequent sampling indicated that of these three metals, only cadmium currently exceeds the residential criteria. This exceedance, though, may be attributed to well construction issues; for example, there is silt in the well, and the metal was detected in "total metal" analyses but not in "dissolved metal" analyses.

The slight potential health risks are mitigated by the fact that surrounding homes are on the municipal water supply. Also, Ottawa County Health Code stipulates that the county will not issue a permit to install a domestic well within an area that does not meet National Primary Drinking Water regulations. Due to the VOC contaminant plume migrating from the SOCL, Ottawa County will not likely issue a permit to install a domestic well on the Holland Lagoons site.

The ecological assessment identified no ecological risks at the site.

Cleanup Progress

WMI removed four underground storage tanks from within the truck maintenance area in 1985. Concurrent to the RI, WMI performed an interim response action at the site by excavating discolored soils plausibly contaminated with heavy metals on the haul road and from other onsite areas and to remove general surface debris from the site. WMI also excavated the former municipal trash landfill area and disposed of the material offsite. All subsequent soil samples showed levels of metals at or below state generic residential criteria or background values.

WMI produced a final draft Feasibility Study ("FS") and Remedial Action Plan ("RAP") for the site in January 1998. The RAP recommended that No Action be taken at the Holland Lagoons site and that institutional controls be placed on the property deed, due to the groundwater contamination migrating from the SOCL and impacting groundwater quality beneath the Holland Lagoons site.

The U.S. EPA remedial project manager ("RPM") and the state project manager conducted a prefinal inspection of the Holland Lagoons site on May 31, 2001, and the RPM developed a punch list of minor tasks to be completed by WMI. The RPM later provided WMI with the punch list and a schedule for completion of those items within the following month.

WMI completed the punch list items on July 31, 2001, and submitted to the state in consultation with U.S. EPA, a final RAP for review and approval. The final RAP called for No Further Action to be implemented at the site and for the placement of a deed restriction on the site due to the groundwater contaminant plume emanating from the SOCL. The deed restrictions were recommended because, in part, MDEQ does not consider the county health code provision to meet the requirements of a "reliable use restriction" under state cleanup rules (Part 201).  WMI placed a deed restriction on the property in August 1997 and offered to monitor site groundwater quality for a five-year period (approximately until the SOCL plume situation perhaps can be stabilized).  A Preliminary Close-Out Report completed in September 2001 documented that all construction activity has been completed, however, WMI remains responsible for monitoring site groundwater quality for a five-year period.

The first Five-Year Review Report was completed in September 2006 and it was determined that the cleanup continues to protect human health and the environment in the short-term.  However, long-term protectiveness is dependent upon effective deed restrictions, as designated in the final RAP. 

MDEQ approved the Final RAP on October 2008 which was submitted in February 2008. U.S. EPA issued a No Further Action Record of Decision for the site on August 17, 2011. U.S. EPA determined that previous responses at the site eliminated the need for a further remedial action. The deed restriction was no longer needed and it was rescinded in June 2011. The site operations did not contaminate the groundwater. The groundwater on-site is contaminated by an upgradient plume migrating from the SOCL Superfund Site, which impacts the groundwater downgradient of the county landfill, including the Holland Lagoons Site. Ottawa County is conducting a cleanup of the SOCL and has implemented an area-wide groundwater use restriction to prevent groundwater use. The responsibility for the remaining wells on the Holland Lagoons Site has been transferred to Ottawa County to use in monitoring the SOCL plume. No five-year review is required because the remedy allows for unlimited exposure and unrestricted use.

A Final Close-Out Report which documents that all response actions have been completed was signed on November 29, 2011.  The site was deleted from the National Priorities List on January 14, 2013.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
gladys beard (beard.gladys@epa.gov)
(312) 886-7253

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
teresa jones
(312) 886-0725




Site Profile Information

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


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