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Peterson-Lahti Landfill (Houghton, Houghton County)

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Please contact the Site Lead for the most up-to-date status of this site.

EGLE site lead

James Staley, or 231-429-1945


The Peterson-Lahti Landfill, located 46730 Lahti Road, in Portage Township, is an unlined landfill that was constructed prior to modern solid waste regulations and requirements. The facility was issued a construction permit in July 1988 and first began accepting waste shortly thereafter. The Peterson-Lahti Landfill accepted construction and demolition waste and operated until April 1995. After ceasing operation, the original owner abandoned the facility and in February 2011 the property tax reverted to Houghton County. The landfill has remained abandoned since that time and was never properly closed with an impermeable cap.

Due to the potential for PFAS to be present in groundwater from the waste placed in the landfill, on January 23, 2023, EGLE requested that Houghton County sample the groundwater monitoring wells for PFAS.

Houghton County retained a consultant to conduct the groundwater sampling at the four onsite monitoring wells, and sampling was completed on March 28, 2024. Groundwater at two monitoring wells had PFAS over criteria; the highest well had 27 ppt PFOA (compared to 8 ppt), 19 ppt PFOS (compared to 16 ppt) and 68 ppt PFHxS (compared to 51 ppt). Based on groundwater elevations measured during the March 28, 2024, groundwater sampling event, groundwater flows in an easterly direction at the landfill.

Nearby water bodies include: Pilgrim River, which is located approximately 800 feet east of the landfill; and Portage Lake, which is located approximately 1.2 miles east of the landfill. The Pilgrim River flows in a northeasterly direction, and ultimately discharges into Portage Lake.

Drinking water information

EGLE, DHHS and local health officials have evaluated nearby drinking water well logs and local geology and plan to sample several residential wells near the landfill in the summer of 2024.

Anticipated activities

In an attempt to corroborate the results of the initial sampling, EGLE anticipates discussing additional future PFAS sampling at the facility with Houghton County officials.