Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

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The 145-acre Fresno Municipal Sanitary Landfill site is located in Fresno, California. Contaminants had migrated from the landfill to surrounding areas, including off site to several private residential wells nearby. Following immediate actions to protect human health and the environment, and construction of the site’s long-term remedy, groundwater treatment and monitoring are ongoing.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

The site is being addressed through federal and municipal actions.

EPA has conducted several five-year reviews of the site’s remedy. These reviews ensure that the remedies put in place protect public health and the environment, and function as intended by site decision documents. The most recent review concluded that response actions at the site are in accordance with the remedy selected by EPA and that the remedy continues to be protective of human health and the environment in the short term. EPA is continuing to work with the City of Fresno and the state to develop institutional controls to protect the remedies for OU-1 and OU-2.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

To better manage site investigations and cleanup, EPA established two operable units (OUs) for the site. OU-1 addresses the landfill. OU-2 addresses contaminated groundwater. The remedy for OU-1, selected in 1993, included landfill capping, gas collection and stormwater management. Construction of the remedy took place between 2000 and 2003.

The OU-2 remedy, selected in 1996, included groundwater extraction, treatment and monitoring. The City of Fresno initiated an Early Groundwater Remedial Action in May 1999. It consisted of the operation of three groundwater extraction wells and two portable treatment units in an effort to expedite groundwater cleanup. Full operation of the groundwater treatment system started in September 2001. Extracted groundwater is treated through a packed tower aerator, which is used to volatilize and remove contaminants from groundwater. Contaminant off-gas is incinerated by the landfill gas flare. The second phase of groundwater cleanup began in 2007. Phase II addresses deeper groundwater contamination along the downgradient perimeter of the landfill.

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Emergency Response and Removal

Site cleanup has also included removal actions, or short-term cleanups, to address immediate threats to human health and the environment. In 1984, the city installed wells around the perimeter of the landfill to monitor methane and groundwater. The city also constructed landfill gas migration barriers on east and west sides of the landfill to prevent methane from migrating off-site to nearby homes. In 1990, the city began the removal of migrating landfill gas containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The treatment involved placement of an active vacuum on an existing gas migration barrier to enhance its effectiveness. The landfill gas vacuum action finished in 1991.

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