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Congressional District # 02


EPA ID# MID980794465
Last Updated: February, 2015

Site Description

The Mason County Landfill site is located three miles south of the city of Ludington and one mile east of Lake Michigan. The site occupies approximately 18 acres of a predominantly rural area in Pere Marquette Township. Approximately 10 acres of the site is landfilled. Ludington, Michigan, has a population of about 10,000. Based on the 2000 census, the population of Mason County was estimated at 28,000 people. The population within a three mile radius of the site was estimated at 1,100 people. 

Comparison of the topographic contours indicates that an estimated 140,000 cubic yards, (+/-) 20,000 cubic yards of fill, are buried in the landfill. The landfill is generally a valley fill with a maximum depth estimated to be 40 to 50 feet. A mixture of hazardous and municipal waste was disposed of in the landfill. The companies that brought the largest amount of hazardous waste to the landfill are Strait Steel and Wire, Citation Walther, and Atkinson Manufacturing. 

Lake Michigan is the main drinking water source in the area and is the city of Ludington's water supply. In rural Pere Marquette Township, residents generally depend on small domestic wells in screened in sand and gravel aquifers for potable water supplies. There are fourteen residential wells within about a one-half mile radius of the landfill that vary in depth from 30 to 150 feet below ground surface. 

Fourteen volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as benzene and trichloroethene and ten semi-VOCs such as bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, were detected in the five downgradient monitoring wells within 400 feet of the landfill. The contaminants that can be attributed to the landfill were four chlorinated volatile hydrocarbons (1,1-dichlorothene chloroethane, 1,1-dichloroethane, tetrachloroethane) that were detected in at least one phase of the Remedial Investigation at concentrations ranging from 1 to 59 parts per billion (ppb). The highest concentration was 59 ppb of 1,1-dichloroethene.  

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal, state, and county actions.

Threats and Contaminants

Offsite groundwater in the monitoring wells contained VOCs and metals, including sodium and lead.  Volitales were found in the landfill gas vents.  Sediments and soils, including those in the clay cap, contained levels of lead and arsenic. Metals were found in Iris Creek. The site property was enclosed with a security fence.  People or wildlife were potentially at risk of coming into contact with contaminants that potentially migrated to the surface water and sediments. 

Cleanup Progress

Negotiations for the Remedial Design/Remedial Action (RD/RA) with the potentially responsible parties were conducted, but no settlement was reached. On April 10, 1989, a Unilateral Administrative Order, pursuant to Section 106 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, was issued to Mason County to perform the RD/RA for the clay cap. A Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Subtitle C compliant soil/clay cap, as directed by the September 1989 Interim Record of Decision (ROD) for the landfill operable contents (disposed refuse), began construction on November 13, 1990, and was completed September 23, 1991, by Mason County. The cap covers 18 acres. Institutional controls along with deed restrictions were enacted in late 1991 at the site by Mason County. Groundwater monitoring for the site began on October 9, 1989, and semiannual sampling had been performed by the USEPA until September 1995 when annual sampling began by Mason County. In the final ROD that was issued on September 27, 1993, it was determined that no further action was necessary for the site, except for continued groundwater monitoring and cap maintenance.  A corresponding Consent Decree (CD) was entered in federal court in October 1994. 

A five-year review was signed on November 13, 1997, and recommended that the landfill cap continue to be maintained and that institutional controls should remain in place. The site was deleted from the National Priorities List in September 1999.  The landfill operation and maintenance CD remains in place.  A second five-year review was signed on February 27, 2001, and found that the remedy remains protective of human health and the environment.  A third five-year review was completed in February 2006, and found that the Site remedy remains protective of human health and the environment.  The Mason County Landfill Site was classified as Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use (SWRAU) on January 30, 2008.  A fourth five year review was completed in January 2011.  A fifth five year review is scheduled for 2016.  The site remains in long-term operation and maintenance.


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

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
Heriberto Leon
(312) 886-6163




Site Profile Information

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


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