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North Kent Landfill (Plainfield Township, Kent County)

EGLE Site Lead: Karen Vorce, VorceK@Michigan.gov or 616-439-8008. Content last updated: May 27, 2022.

Background

North Kent Landfill (Landfill) is a Kent County-owned solid waste management facility, located at 2908 10 Mile Road NE, Plainfield Township. The Landfill is a 54-acre closed, Municipal Type II, synthetic lined landfill that operated between 1977 and 1986.

It was brought to EGLE's attention in 2017 that Wolverine World Wide (Wolverine), which historically operated a tannery in downtown Rockford for over 100 years, used PFAS in their tanning operations.  Kent county records confirm that Wolverine’s tannery waste was disposed at the Landfill property from 1981-1985.  In December 2017 and January 2018, groundwater samples were collected from existing monitoring wells at the Landfill and submitted for PFAS analysis. Results showed that PFAS was present in groundwater above Part 201 Groundwater Cleanup Criteria.

Previously, the sampling information associated with the Landfill site was included within the House Street Disposal Area investigation reporting but will now be reported as its own MPART site since the Landfill property is owned and operated by Kent County. EGLE has been working with the Kent County on PFAS response actions since PFAS was discovered at the site in December 2017.

The Landfill is located on a groundwater divide, and groundwater flows in multiple directions away from the site. The landfill was originally constructed with “underdrains” to control groundwater levels. These underdrains collect groundwater below the landfill. The collected groundwater is discharged to on-site surface water ponds. These ponds discharge to creeks and low-lying areas at the north side of the Landfill.  A PFAS treatment system for the underdrains has been designed for construction once a leachate treatment system pilot testing is completed.

North Kent Landfill Map

Recent Accomplishments

  • Leachate Treatment System - A leachate treatment system was constructed on-site in late 2021 as a full-scale pilot test to reduce PFAS in the leachate.  The startup, early operations, and sampling will guide modifications to the final system configuration and operating parameters. Leachate samples are being collected quarterly as part of a publicly owned treatment works general permit (POTW) with the North Kent Sewer Authority.

Next Steps

  • Kent County will continue quarterly sampling of nearby residential wells that have detected PFAS, as well as continue maintenance of the 10 whole-home point-of-entry treatment systems.
  • Kent County will continue annual sampling of nearby residential wells that have not detected PFAS.
  • Several residential drinking water wells located in the North Kent Landfill Sampling Area are expected to be connected to Plainfield Township’s public water supply in 2021/2022.
  • Kent County is developing a written PFAS Conceptual Site Model to summarize the current geologic understanding of the Landfill.
  • Kent County will continue the operation and pilot testing of the onsite leachate treatment system.

Residential Well Sampling / Alternative Water Information

  • Drinking Water PFAS Sampling – In February 2018, Kent County initiated drinking water sampling of 42 nearby drinking water wells in what is identified as the North Kent Landfill Sampling Area. PFAS was detected at 10 residences, four of which had concentrations greater than EGLE Part 201 Criteria for PFOA (highest PFOA detection was 62.9 ppt). Multiple rounds of drinking water sampling have been performed.
  • Drinking Water Treatment – In 2018, whole-home point-of-entry treatment systems were installed by Kent County at 10 residences where drinking water wells had detectable levels of PFAS.
  • Public Water Connection – A non-residential well with detectable PFAS concentrations in the vicinity of the Landfill, was connected to the existing nearby Plainfield Township public water system in 2018. Several residential drinking water wells located in the North Kent Landfill Sampling Area are expected to be connected to Plainfield Township’s public water supply in 2022.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None at this time.

Sampling Results Summary

Type of Sample

Date Sampled (or range)

Number of Sample Results Received

Number of Samples above Criteria*

Groundwater Monitoring Wells

2017 - 2018

14

8

Residential Wells

2017 – 2022

42

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).
* 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:

  • EGLE has been provided sampling results for 14 on-site monitoring wells at the landfill property which were sampled in late 2017 and 2018. PFAS concentrations in the monitoring wells ranged from non-detect to 200 ppt for PFOA, and 21.2 ppt for PFOS.
  • 42 drinking water wells have been sampled by Kent County Department of Public Works.
    • December 2017 and January 2018 – Limited onsite groundwater PFAS sampling by EGLE/AECOM.
    • February 2018 – Initial Round of Quarterly Drinking Water Well Sampling and EGLE reporting completed by the county’s environmental consultant, Fleis & VandenBrink Engineering (F&V).
    • May 9, 2018 – The first leachate sample is collected for PFAS analysis. Results exceeded Part 201 Criteria.
    • May 15, 2018 – Limited onsite groundwater sampling completed by F&V.
    • 2018 – Whole-home point of entry treatment systems were installed at 10 residences with PFAS detections in their wells.
    • Summer 2018 – A non-residential well with PFAS detections was connected to the Plainfield Township public water system.
    • August/September 2018 – Second Round of Drinking Water Well Sampling and EGLE reporting completed.
    • October 2018 – NKL Sampling Area Whole-Home Point of Entry Treatment System Management Plan submitted to EGLE.
    • December 2018/January 2019 – Third Round of Drinking Water Well Sampling and EGLE reporting complete.
    • April/May 2019 – Fourth Round of Drinking Water Well Sampling and EGLE reporting complete.
    • June 2019 – Quarterly sampling of leachate for PFAS begins under POTW permit with North Kent Sewer Authority.
    • June 2019 – Samples are collected for PFAS analysis from the influent and effluent of the Center Underdrain Pond and East Underdrain Pond.
    • July 2019 – Fifth Round of Drinking Water Well Sampling and EGLE reporting completed.
    • July 2019 – Design of leachate treatment system begins.
    • July 2019 – Design of underdrain outfall/pond PFAS treatment system begins.
    • September 2019 – Sixth Round of Drinking Water Well Sampling and EGLE reporting completed.
    • December 2019 – Seventh Round of Drinking Water Well Sampling and EGLE reporting completed.
    • April/May 2020 – Eighth Round of Drinking Water Well Sampling and EGLE reporting completed.
    • June 2020 – Ninth Round of Drinking Water Well Sampling and EGLE reporting completed.
    • June 2020 – Addendum to Whole-Home Point of Entry Treatment System Management Plan submitted to EGLE.
    • September 2020 – 10th Round of Drinking Water Well Sampling and EGLE reporting complete.
    • September 2020 – Monthly sampling of Center Underdrain effluent and East Underdrain effluent begins.
    • December 2020 – 11th Round of Drinking Water Well Sampling and EGLE reporting completed.
    • December 2020 – Construction of Leachate Treatment system begins.
    • March 2021 – 12th Round of Drinking Water Well Sampling and EGLE reporting completed.
    • May 2021 – Revised PFAS Sampling and Whole-Home Point of Entry Treatment System Management Plan submitted to EGLE.
    • August 2021 – 13th Round of Drinking Water Well Sampling and EGLE reporting completed.
    • November 2021 – 14th Round of Drinking Water Well Sampling and EGLE reporting completed.
    • November 2021 – Leachate treatment system construction completed and full-scale pilot test commenced.