Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

SPARTA LANDFILL
SPARTA TOWNSHIP, MI

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The 26-acre Sparta Landfill site, located in Kent County, Michigan, is located about one mile southeast of the village of Sparta and one-fifth mile east of the Rogue River. About 12 acres operated as an open dump (Schwab Dump) from the 1940s until 1972. During this time, general, residential, commercial, and solid waste was accepted. In 1972, Kent County began operation of the Sparta Landfill on property adjacent to the Schwab Dump and acquired the Schwab Dump property in 1973. The licensed landfill accepted municipal refuse and industrial wastes under state of Michigan law.

The landfill was closed in 1977 and a two-foot sand cover was placed over the site. In 1979, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources detected volatile organic compounds, including benzene, toluene, xylene, and trichloroethylene in on-site monitoring wells. Organic solvents were also detected in nearby residential wells. Kent County replaced four residential wells. 

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

The site is being addressed by Kent County under EPA and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality oversight.

Under state authorities in 1996, Kent County designed and installed a multi-layer landfill cap, complete with a passive landfill gas vent system. In 2000, EPA selected a “no further action” final cleanup plan with long-term groundwater monitoring, which is ongoing.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

EPA completed a five-year review of the Sparta Landfill. The Superfund law requires regular checkups of sites that have been cleaned up – with waste managed on-site – to make sure the cleanup continues to protect people and the environment.

The review concluded the cleanup is protecting people and the environment. This was the third five-year review of this site.

EPA’s original cleanup plan included a multi-layer landfill cap, landfill gas vent system, and groundwater monitoring.

More information is available at the Sparta Carnegie Township Library, 80 N. Union, and in the Reports and Documents section of this web page.

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Activity and Use Limitations

At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup.

For more background, see Institutional Controls.

Activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site cleanups because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup.

Certain restrictions were put in place in 2008. The landfill cover is not to be disturbed and the groundwater cannot be used.

For more background, see Institutional Controls.

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Sampling and Monitoring

Kent County will continue to monitor groundwater and air on and near the landfill.

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Enforcement Information

Legal documents called Administrative Orders on Consent (AOC)were signed by EPA and Kent County in 1993 and 2002.

 

 

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