STATE DISPOSAL LANDFILL, INC.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI
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The State Disposal Landfill, Inc. site is located in Plainfield Township, Michigan. The 37.6-acre landfill was a licensed waste disposal facility from 1966 to 1976. During this time, the landfill accepted residential, commercial and other wastes; unconfirmed reports indicate that the landfill may have also accepted liquid hazardous wastes. Waste disposal operations contaminated soil and groundwater with hazardous chemicals. The study area for the site encompasses 800 acres of wooded, agricultural and residential properties. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) continues to work with the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to develop and implement effective cleanup strategies for the site. Waste Management Inc. (WMMI) is the liable party for this site.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
The remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS) for the landfill and the impacted groundwater is ongoing. In the spring of 2000, site PRPs submitted the FS and a Remedial Action Plan (RAP). The state reviewed these reports and determined that the RAP was incomplete for the landfill and that the proposed RAP for the groundwater, which included monitored natural attenuation, was unacceptable and needed to be revised. Monitored natural attenuation is an environmental term for using natural processes such as evaporation or dilution to reduce the toxicity of pollution. Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) continues to work with the potentially responsible parties (PRP) to develop and implement effective cleanup strategies for the site.
Cleanup has also included a number of interim strategies to protect human health and the environment. From 1985 to 1991, residences with affected residential wells received alternative water supplies in the form of bottled water and point-of-use devices. In 1991, some of the affected residences received connections to the public water supply. Additionally, the landfill’s remedy has included installation of a cap, gas vents, and fencing. In 2006, the PRP group upgraded the landfill cap and leachate collection system. “Leachate” is water that has passed through and picked up some of the substances contained in the earth.
What Is the Current Site Status?
In 2018, EGLE's Remediation and Redevelopment Division established cleanup criteria for groundwater used as drinking water of 70 parts per trillion, or ppt, of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, also known as PFOS, and perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as PFOA, individually or combined.
During 2017 and 2018, Waste Management Inc., owner and operator of this site, collected 20 groundwater samples from private residential wells at 18 properties east and south of the landfill. One sample east of the landfill had 26 ppt of PFOA. EGLE then sampled 11 additional residential wells east of the landfill. Two wells were under 10 ppt of PFOS and PFOA combined; these contaminants were not detected in the remainder of the wells.
EGLE is investigating the possibility of other source areas separate from the State Disposal Landfill through groundwater studies at additional locations. Of the residential wells sampled to date, the contaminants were not detected in 45 wells, and none are in exceedance of 70 ppt combined concentrations of PFOS and PFOA, which is EPA’s health advisory level.
In 2016, as part of an EPA municipal water supply testing initiative, Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, also known as PFAS, were detected in Plainfield Township’s municipal water. Most residents in the area are connected to the Plainfield Township municipal water supply system; however, staff from EGLE identified 31 private residential wells adjacent to the contaminated groundwater plume from the State Disposal Landfill, Inc.