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Congressional District # 06


EPA ID# MND980704738
Last Updated: June, 2015

Site Description

The Washington County Landfill is located in the City of Lake Elmo, Washington County, Minnesota. The site is a municipal landfill that accepted waste materials from 1969 to 1975.  The landfill currently covers approximately 24 acres and contains an estimated 1.9 million cubic yards of mixed residential, commercial, and demolition wastes.  The areas adjacent to the landfill are used as open space/parkland, for residences, and for farming. The site was listed on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) National Priorities List in 1984.

Site Responsibility

This site was addressed through Federal, State and County actions.  The site has been operated and maintained by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) as part of its Closed Landfill Program since 1995.

Threats and Contaminants

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were present in soil and groundwater on-site and in groundwater of certain off-site private wells.  In 2004, perfluorochemicals (PFCs) were also found in on-site groundwater and in some off-site residential wells.

Cleanup Progress

In 1975, the landfill was closed and a 2-foot landfill cover was installed.  In 1981, VOCs were detected in groundwater beneath the landfill, and additional monitoring wells were constructed.  In response to an Order by Consent from MPCA, beginning in 1984, Washington and Ramsey Counties installed a groundwater gradient control system to capture contaminated groundwater, along with a spray irrigation system to treat the water. 

Construction of a new water supply system was initiated in 1991.  An Administrative Order was issued by EPA to the counties in 1992, and  amended in 1993, to continue the remedial actions.  Connection of 72 residences to the water supply system was completed in 1993.  In 1993, 14 methane gas vents were installed on the landfill to protect nearby homes and municipal buidlings.  In 1996, MPCA installed an enclosed gas flare and an active gas extraction system.  At this same time, MPCA conducted a major upgrade to the landfill cap.  

In 2004, PFCs were discovered in groundwater near the landfill.  Starting in 2005, MPCA offered bottled water and granular activated carbon (GAC) filters to residents that received drinking water advisories from the Minnesota Department of Health.  In 2007, MPCA and 3M Company agreed to a Consent Order regarding PFC contamination at multiple sites.  In 2008, MPCA signed a Remedy Decision Document selecting a new remedy for the landfill.  The new remedy included excavation of the landfill waste and placement of the waste into new triple-lined cells.  The triple lined cells will prevent further escape of any contamination from the site.  Construction began in 2009 and was completed in 2012.    

Property Reuse

In 2013, MPCA drafted a Closed Landfill Use Plan that identified future land uses that are acceptable to MPCA for the site, or parts of the site.  In addition to closed landfill management, certain areas may be suitable for certain civic uses related to city maintenance, parks or open space, or use as a solar energy farm.  MPCA will finalize the landfill use plan when it is adopted by the City of Lake Elmo.


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

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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