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Congressional District # 02


EPA ID# MND038384004
Last Updated: July, 2015

Site Description

The 150 acre Freeway Sanitary Landfill site in Burnsville, Minnesota, includes approximately 5 million cubic yards of waste that covers 132 acres of the site.  In 1971, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) issued Solid Waste Permit SW-57 to the landfill for disposal of household, commercial, demolition, and non-hazardous industrial wastes. The permit prohibited the disposal of liquids and hazardous wastes; however, heavy metals, acids, and bases were accepted by the landfill from local industries. The landfill also accepted 200 cubic yards of battery casings and 448 tons of aluminum sweat furnace slag.   Currently, the waste is covered by varying thicknesses of soil. 

The groundwater beneath the Freeway Landfill flows into the nearby Kraemer Quarry due to long-term dewatering of the quarry for mining purposes. When this pumping ceases, the groundwater flow will change substantially, and there is a concern that contaminated groundwater could flow into the Minnesota River, which is located aproximately 400 feet from the landfill. The City of Burnsville municipal water supply wells are located about 3,100 feet to the south of the landfill.

Site Responsibility

Currently this site is being addressed through State (MPCA) RCRA post-closure care permit actions.  The site is also a qualified facility eligible to be managed by the MPCA's Closed Landfill Program, and a binding Landfill Cleanup Agreement is being negotiated between MPCA and the landfill owner.  

Threats and Contaminants

Previous groundwater data indicated that contaminants exceed drinking water standards, including VOCs, such as tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and vinyl chloride, and metals, such as manganese and thallium.  Other contaminants exceed surface water criteria for protection of fish and other aquatic life.  Field investigations conducted in the summer of 2015 will provide updated groundwater information. Exposure to contaminated groundwater is possible if site contaminants migrate to the Burnsville municipal well field or discharge into the Minnesota River where aquatic life could be harmed.  Potential exposure to methane gas generated by decomposition of landfill wastes is also a concern. A Minnesota Department of Transportation investigation in 2014 identified explosive levels of methane east of the landfill. Currently no gas venting system is in place at the landfill. 

Cleanup Progress

In 2010, MPCA's Closed Landfill Program issued Areas of Concern (AOC) maps for landfill gases and groundwater at the site.  Based on the large mass of waste present, the lack of a landfill gas venting system, the lack of landfill gas data, and the potential for gas to migrate under seasonal low permeability (frozen) conditions, the MPCA established a methane gas AOC which extends 300 feet beyond the waste footprint.  Based on groundwater flow conditions at the site, the MPCA also established a groundwater AOC which extends out from the waste footprint.  Additional measures are needed to address both, the landfill cover (including gas controls) and the groundwater, to assure long-term protection of human health and the environment.  Currently, pumping related to the nearby quarry operation is controlling human exposure to groundwater.  When this pumping ceases, additional measures will be needed to assure that human exposure to groundwater remains controlled and the nearby river environment is protected.  Discussions between the landfill owner and MPCA are ongoing, in consultation with the City of Burnsville and Dakota County.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
leah evison (evison.leah@epa.gov)
(312) 886-2064

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
cheryl allen
(312) 353-6196




Site Profile Information

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


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