Central Sanitary Landfill

PFAS was found in groundwater at the Central Sanitary Landfill (CSL). Based on environmental and public health concerns, further review and possible action may be needed to protect public health. More details about this location will be shared as soon as possible.

About the Landfill

  • Central Sanitary Landfill is located 2/3 of a mile northwest of the Village of Pierson.
  • Central Sanitary Landfill Inc. is a subsidiary of Republic Services, Inc.(Republic).
  • Groundwater contamination is present from historic waste management activities. CSL operates a groundwater remediation system to treat contaminants from the landfill that have leaked into the groundwater.
  • Except for a small portion of the landfill in the north which is the oldest portion of the site, the landfill is almost completely double-lined. There is a monitored leak detection system installed between the liners. The double liner system with leak detection is designed to detect and correct any leaks before any groundwater contamination can occur.


  • In November 2017, Wolverine World Wide Corporation identified CSL as a location where they disposed of various tannery wastes from approximately 1984-2009. These wastes likely contained high levels of PFAS.
  • December 2017 to February 2018, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) proactively required CSL to develop a workplan to address several issues identified at the site, including the conceptual site model and potential PFAS contamination of groundwater at CSL.
  • On February 27 and 28, 2018 the first round of PFAS samples were collected from 10 monitoring wells around the landfill. Monitoring wells are used to detect contaminants and signs of leakage to the groundwater around the landfill.
  • In March 2018, CSL voluntarily collected samples from two non-potable (non-drinking water) supply wells which they use on-site for flushing toilets, washing hands and other maintenance activities.
  • On April 13, 2018, the DEQ learned that 5 of the 12 onsite monitoring wells that were sampled contained PFAS that exceeded the 70 part per trillion (ppt) lifetime health advisory (LHA) and immediately began working with CSL, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Mid-Michigan District Health Department (MMDHD) to develop a phased sampling plan of domestic wells close to and in the directions of groundwater flow from the landfill to ensure that public health was protected.
  • Early May 2018, 12 additional monitoring wells were sampled on landfill properties and the results were submitted mid-June to the DEQ. 1 of the 12 samples contained PFAS higher than the 70 ppt LHA.
  • May 2 and 3, 2018, the first phase of the plan, Phase 1, included sampling 19 properties, two of which are Type II Public Supply wells (wells that serve more people than a single household, such as a business that uses well water). CSL provided bottled water to the properties while sample results were pending. 18 properties were sampled; 1 resident refused to be sampled. Results of this sampling were submitted to the DEQ May 29, 2018.
  • Based on the Phase 1 results, it was determined that several additional properties should be sampled (Phase 2).
  • On June 7, 2018, Phase 2 of drinking water well sampling was completed.  Phase 2 testing included 7 additional properties located near the northeast corner of the landfill.
  • More groundwater monitoring wells will be installed on the west side of the landfill to determine if PFAS impacts have migrated, or moved, offsite and to better define groundwater flow. Installation will begin once CSL obtains property access.
  • June 18, 2018, The DEQ, DHHS, MMDHD, along with CSL, hosted a community open house and public meeting at Tri County High School in Howard City, Michigan.
  • July 9, 2018, Phase 2 sampling results were submitted to the MDEQ.

Future Work

  • Installation of additional sentinel monitoring wells to better monitor PFAS in the groundwater.These wells will help detect PFAS before it reaches homes.
  • Install PFAS removal technology to the groundwater treatment system on landfill property.

Phase 1 Results

  • 18 sample results received
  • None of the properties had PFOA/PFOS over the 70 ppt LHA
  • PFOA/PFOS was not found in 13 of the 18 samples
  • PFOA/PFOS was found in 5 properties at levels of (4 ppt to 59 ppt)

Phase 2 Results

  • 7 sample results received
  • PFOA/PFOS was not found in all 7 samples collected
Types of Samples

Date Sampled

# of Samples

# Non-Detects

# Between Non-Detect
and 70 ppt (PFOA/PFAS)

# Equal to or more than
70 ppt (PFOA/PFAS)

Landfill Monitoring Points Through 5/17/18 26 8 11 7
Drinking Water Wells Through 6/7/18 25 20 5 0
Totals   51 28 16 7
Note: Non-Detect means that the lab did not detect or find PFAS in the water sample at or above the reporting limit.