Former Falk Road Landfill, Holly Township, Oakland County

Last Updated: May 10, 2021

Former Falk Road Landfill MapEGLE Site Lead:
Kimberly Ethridge
EthridgeK@Michigan.gov
586-324-0183

Background:

The Former Falk Road Landfill (FFRL), located at 16000 Falk Road, is a 40-acre property with two main locations where unidentified/undocumented garbage and lawn/leaf refuse was disposed from around 1927 until 1980. Part of the site was also used as a shooting range.  This site has been sampled for various pollutants since 1994.  PFAS was sampled by Holly Village in 2020, then by EGLE in 2021.  Thirty-two samples were collected at 24 monitoring wells.  Four groundwater samples had PFAS exceeding groundwater cleanup criteria.

FFRL is near the Shiawassee River. Swartz and Buckhorn Creeks are tributaries streams that flow from the north and south.  There are several ponds on the FFRL and southern adjoining property.  Rice Lake and Bush Lake are northwest of the FFRL.  Groundwater flow is complex in this area: the deeper groundwater flow direction is generally assumed to flow to the west-northwest, but shallow groundwater flow direction may be more radial toward the south, west, and northwest.  Shallow and deeper groundwater is relied upon for drinking water. 

Recent Accomplishments:

  • In 1996 a Hydrogeologic study for landfill closure was also conducted. The study/report was not in EGLE files but was first provided in November 2020 and gave pertinent additional information.
  • 2019-2020: Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) collected water samples from two residential wells on Falk Road.  Samples were analyzed for non-PFAS analytes, including metals and volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds.   The only analytes that were detected were naturally occurring arsenic and iron.  Letters were provided to the residents.
  • In February 2020, EGLE sent a letter to Holly Village requesting an investigation of the landfill. EGLE requested sampling for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), metals, Chloride, Potassium, Manganese, Iron, Boron, and PFAS from the existing groundwater monitoring wells on the landfill property. Sampling was put on hold due to statewide COVID restrictions.
  • In July 2020, Holly Village sampled monitoring wells.
  • In November 2020, Holly Village submitted a report with the results from the July 2020 sampling event.  One sample contained PFNA above groundwater water cleanup criteria.
  • In December 2020, EGLE and the Village visited the landfill and located newly discovered groundwater monitoring wells.  EGLE obtained funding for additional groundwater sampling on January 19, 2021.
  • On March 8-9, 2021, EGLE resampled the groundwater monitoring wells Holly Village sampled in 2020, plus some newly discovered monitoring wells.  Results showed two monitoring wells contained PFAS exceeding groundwater cleanup criteria.
  • On March 19, 2021, four residents sampled their own residential wells.  According to the lab report EGLE was provided, three of four wells were non-detect, and one had PFOA at 18 ppt, with criteria being 8 ppt for PFOA.
  • On April 1, 2021, EGLE secured funding and sent access consent letters to ten residents surrounding the FFRL to sample residential wells. 
  • On April 14, 2021, EGLE and environmental consultant AECOM, sampled ten residential wells after obtaining owners' access consent.  Four residential wells sampled in March 2021 were re-sampled to verify the March test results, plus six additional residential wells in close radius around the FFRL.  Samples were collected from a pre-treated water spigot.
  • On April 30, 2021, PFAS sample results indicated that nine of the ten residential wells sampled April 14, 2021 were non-detect for all PFAS analytes sampled. The one residential well with a previous PFOA exceedance again had PFOA, at 19 ppt versus the 8 ppt criteria.  (This resident had already been provided a pitcher filter).  MPART determined next steps and scheduled a town hall meeting to inform stakeholders.

Next Steps:

  • On May 10, 2021, MPART will conduct a virtual Town Hall Meeting for stakeholders to share sampling results. Falk Road Landfill became an MPART PFAS Site.
  • Spring 2021:  Three additional residential wells near the home with the PFOA exceedance will be sampled for PFAS. EGLE will evaluate results and continue to monitor compliance activities and environmental conditions at the FFRL to protect public health and the environment. 
  • Summer 2021:  Holly Village will sample groundwater at the FFRL in accordance with a sampling plan.  OCHD will sample residential wells for VOCs, PNAs and Metals in a radius around the FFRL.  Results letters will be mailed to owners by the OCHD.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information:

  • Select nearby residential wells will continue to be monitored.

Upcoming Community Engagement:

  • On May 10, 2021, MPART will host a town hall meeting and FFRL will become an MPART site.  For information on how to join the town hall visit Michigan.gov/MPARTEvents

Sampling Results Summary

Type of Sample

Date Sampled (or range)

Number of Sample Results Received

Number of Samples above Criteria*

Residential Wells April 2021 10 1
Groundwater Monitoring Wells July 2020 - March 2021 24 4

 

*Residential well and groundwater monitoring well results are compared to EGLE Part 201 criteria for 7 PFAS compounds effective 12/21/2020:  PFOS (16 ppt), PFOA (8 ppt), PFNA (6 ppt), PFHxS (51 ppt), PFHxA (400,000 ppt), PFBS (420 ppt), and HFPO-DA (370 ppt).

Sampling Notes:

  • The above table does not reflect resident self-sampling data.