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Eaton County Landfill (Charlotte, Eaton County)

EGLE Site Lead: Evin Maguire, MaguireE@Michigan.gov or 517-388-3525. Webpage last updated August 3, 2020.

Background

Eaton County Landfill is located off East Gresham Highway in Potterville and began operations as a Type 2 municipal solid waste landfill in 1971. The landfill was operated by the Eaton County Department of Public Works until its closure; the landfill stopped receiving waste in 1982 and was officially closed in 1986.  In 1991, an effort was undertaken to evaluate the extent of the contamination. In 1996, increasing levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) originating from the landfill were found in one of the monitor wells surrounding the landfill.  As a result, additional monitor wells were installed, and the contamination was found to be limited to the areas immediately surrounding the landfill.  Due to historical contamination, in April 2019 EGLE requested that Eaton County sample groundwater, surface water, and leachate at the landfill for PFAS.

Groundwater flow in the vicinity of the landfill is to the northwest. No surface water impacts have been determined at this time. Surface water contamination is unlikely, however, a small tributary to the Thornapple River lies downgradient. A number of residential drinking water wells are within one mile downgradient; however, they are installed in deeper aquifers and PFAS contamination occurs only in the shallower aquifer immediately surrounding the landfill. Residential drinking water contamination is unlikely.

Eaton County Landfill Map

Recent Accomplishments

  • On April 9, 2019, EGLE sent a request to Eaton County officials to sample groundwater, surface water, and leachate at the landfill for PFAS analysis.
  • On August 12, 2019, Eaton County’s consultant, Strata Environmental Services, collected samples from four groundwater monitor wells, one surface waterbody from a nearby pond, and leachate for PFAS analysis.
  • On September 10, 2019, EGLE received the sample results. One monitoring well (MW-15S) had a concentration of 27 parts per trillion (ppt) PFOA, exceeding Part 201 Criteria of 8 ppt for that compound. The surface water result was non-detect for PFAS.

Next Steps

  • EGLE will discuss the results with Eaton County and the necessity of resampling with a lower detection limit, and the possibility of routine PFAS sampling at Eaton County Landfill.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • At this time residential drinking water contamination is unlikely. 

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None scheduled at this time.

Sampling: PFOS and PFOA Only

Type of Sample

Date Sampled
(or range)

Number of Sample Results Received

Number of Samples Above PFOS Criteria

Number of Samples Above PFOA Criteria

Groundwater August 12, 2019 4 0 1
Surface Water August 12, 2019 1 0 0

*Groundwater results are compared to EGLE Part 201 Criteria of PFOS 16 ppt and PFOA 8 ppt.
*Surface water samples are compared to Rule 57 non-drinking water values of 12 ppt for PFOS and 12,000 ppt for PFOA.

Sampling notes

  • The laboratory detection limit for PFOA for these results was 20 ppt, which is higher than the current MCL. Another sampling event with lower detection limits will be necessary.

Historical Timeline

  • On April 9, 2019, EGLE sent a request to Eaton County officials to sample groundwater, surface water, and leachate at the landfill for PFAS analysis.
  • On August 12, 2019, Eaton County's consultant, Strata Environmental Services, collected samples from four groundwater monitor wells, one surface waterbody from a nearby pond, and leachate for PFAS analysis.
  • On September 10, 2019, EGLE received the sample results.  One monitoring well (MW-15S) had a concentration of 27 parts per trillion (ppt) PFOA, exceeding Part 201 Criteria of 8 ppt for that compound.  The surface water result was non-detect for PFAS.
  • EGLE discussed the initial results with Eaton County and explained the necessity of resampling with a lower detection limit, and the possibility of routine PFAS sampling at Eaton County Landfill. Eaton County agreed to resample with a lower detection limit.