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Record of Decision System (RODS)

NOVAK SANITARY LANDFILL

Abstract

Site Name:  NOVAK SANITARY LANDFILL
Address:  PARKLAND TERRACE RD & LAPP RD 
City & State:  SOUTH WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP  PA  18104
County:  LEHIGH
 
EPA ID:  PAD079160842
EPA Region:  03
 
NPL Status:  Currently on the Final NPL
 
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/ROD/R03-93/173
ROD Date:  09/30/1993
Operable Unit(s):  01
 
Media:  Soil, Sediment, Debris, GW, SW, Air
 
Contaminant:  VOCs, Metals
 
Abstract:  The 65-acre Novak Sanitary Landfill site is an inactive, unlined, municipal landfill located in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. Land use in the area is predominantly residential and agricultural, with minor industrial and commercial uses. The site borders residential homes to the north, south, and east, and Jordan Creek, classified as a protected use stream for trout stocking and migratory fishes, approximately 700 feet to the south. There are several private residential wells and public supply wells within a 3-mile radius of the site and several, small areas along the perimeter that were classified as wetlands during the RI, even though there are no Federally-designated wetlands on the landfill site. There are four main waste disposal areas: the 9-acre Old Surface Iron Mine Excavation in the north-central area; a 2-acre Demolition Debris Fill Area in the northeast area; a 14-acre Surface Fill Area across the northwestern and central area; and a 9-acre Trench Fill Area in the southern portion of the property. Beginning in the mid-1950s, wastes were disposed of in the Old Surface Mine Excavation, which was closed and covered prior to 1972. From 1972 to 1982, municipal, commercial, and industrial waste was deposited in the Surface Fill Area, until the State directed that disposal be shifted to the Trench Fill Area. In 1982, disposal in the Trench Fill Area began, which included a series of five parallel east-to-west oriented trenches. By 1988, all trenches were filled; however, the landfill continued to accept small quantities of refuse and construction debris until it was closed in 1990. The total volume of the landfill is estimated at 1,040,000 yd[3] of combined waste and fill, and certain wastes, that were disposed of at the landfill in the 1950s and 1960s, later may have been defined as hazardous wastes under RCRA. In 1985, site inspections revealed potential ground water contamination. This ROD addresses a final remedy to reduce the risk to human health and the environment caused by the unlined landfill. The primary contaminants of concern affecting the soil, sediment, debris, ground water, surface water, and air are VOCs, including benzene, PCE, TCE, toluene, and xylenes; and metals, including chromium and lead. SELECTED REMEDIAL ACTION: The selected remedial action for this site includes installing a perimeter fence around the site boundaries; sampling and assessing the sediment and water in all onsite surface stormwater and leachate drainages and other standing water areas to define the areas of contamination; removing and testing contaminated sediment to determine whether it is hazardous waste or not; temporarily storing the contaminated sediment onsite in containers until it can be transferred offsite to a licensed hazardous waste disposal facility or, if it is not hazardous, moving it to other parts of the landfill to be used as fill material; collecting and removing approximately 11,000,000 gallons of leachate; storing the leachate onsite in storage tanks and transporting the leachate offsite to a wastewater pre-treatment facility, prior to discharge to a POTW; providing for a contingent remedy for leachate, including onsite treatment and discharge to Jordan Creek via a planned storm sewer location north of the site, if the Lehigh County Wastewater Pretreatment Plant cannot receive the leachate; constructing a geosynthetic clay cap to completely cover over the Surface Fill, Trench Fill, Old Mine, and Demolition Fill Areas; allowing the ground water to naturally attenuate by dispersion, adsorption, and biodegradation for 15 years, or until concentrations in the ground water reach the lower of background levels or MCLs; monitoring ground water for 30 years; implementing additional ground water remedial actions within the scope of this ROD, if necessary to attain performance standards; providing an alternate water supply for affected residential wells; removing contaminated surface water to be treated with the leachate; installing a surface water control system, including regrading the site to providedrainage and to minimize soil erosion, and implementing a storm water run- on, runoff, and erosion control system for the site; collecting, venting, and monitoring landfill gas, including installing passive trenches and pipe ventsalong the fractures at the landfill boundary; monitoring air during the RD phase to determine if active venting is necessary; and implementing institutional controls, including deed, ground water, and land use restrictions. The estimated present worth cost for this remedial action is $16,105,149, which includes an estimated annual O&M cost of $92,459 for 30 years. PERFORMANCE STANDARDS OR GOALS: Chemical-specific ground water cleanup goals are based on the lower of background levels, the SDWA non-zero MCLG, or the Federal or State MCLs, and include benzene 5 ug/l; PCE 5 ug/l; TCE 5 ug/l; toluene 1,000 ug/l; and total xylenes 10,000 ug/l. INSTITUTIONAL CONTROLS: Institutional controls, including deed, ground water, and land use restrictions, will be implemented to prevent excavation or construction on the capped and closed landfill, the use of the land for residential or agricultural purposes, and the onsite ground water for domestic purposes, including drinking water.
 
Remedy:  The Novak Sanitary Landfill Site is a municipal landfill approximately 65 acres in size. The remedial action selected for the Site is a final remedy which will address the principle threat and reduce risk to human health and the environment caused by the unlined landfill. To achieve this objective, the selected remedy will: 1) ensure containment of the landfill contents; 2) provide long term monitoring of ground water for residences adjacent to the Site that are utilizing the ground water for drinking water; 3) mitigate the continued release of contaminants leaching from the landfill to the aquifer; 4) control the migration of combustible gases such as methane; 5) ensure landfill contaminants in the Site's surface storm-water and leachate drainages outside the proposed landfill cap are either not of environmental risk or contained by the proposed cap.

The selected remedial action includes the following components:
- Installation of perimeter fence around the Site boundaries;
- Deed restrictions within the Site boundaries;
- Removal of contaminated on-site surface water and sediments based upon results of additional sampling and environmental risk assessment to be conducted;
- Installation of surface water control systems to provide drainage and to minimize soil erosion throughout the Site;
- Containment of the landfill contents by construction of a cap over the entire waste area, including the Surface Fill, Trench Fill, Old Mine and Demolition Fill Areas;
- Site restoration to promote wildlife habitat diversity without jeopardizing the integrity of the cap;
- Installation and monitoring of a gas collection system that is compatible with an active gas collection and treatment system;
- Ongoing leachate collection and monitoring throughout the Site and transport of leachate to an approved wastewater treatment facility by tanker for disposal;
- Contingency for on-site leachate treatment and disposal to surface water if approval for disposal at an approved wastewater treatment facility is not obtained;
- Long-term ground water monitoring in the vicinity of the Site. Achievement of background levels (or MCLs, whichever is lower) in ground water. Contingency for provision of drinking water (via residential treatment units or waterline hook-ups) to affected residences. Delineation of the source of ground water contamination in the vicinity of RW-13;
- Operation and maintenance (O&M) of the vegetative soil cover, the cap, and the treatment systems on-site.
 
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