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Great Lakes Pulp Company Landfill (Menominee Township, Menominee County)

EGLE Site Lead: Mary Ann St Antoine, StAntoineM@Michigan.gov or (989) 370-8035. Webpage last updated April 16, 2021.

Background

Great Lakes Pulp Company (GLPC) Landfill located west of County Road 577 and 7.5 Mile Road, is a 14-acre, composite lined, Type III landfill that was previously licensed by the State of Michigan. The landfill operated from 1996 to 2016 and took in paper pulp waste generated by the Fibrek Paper Plant in Menominee, which recycles paper into deinked pulp.  The landfill has three lined cells with a leachate collection system and is covered by a compacted clay layer that is covered by topsoil and grass.

In 2000, there was evidence of groundwater contamination at the site.  These impacts resulted in a consent order with a remedial action plan to address the contamination. The consent order was terminated in 2018 after GLPC complied and completed all of the requirements.  Since the closure and remedial activities, groundwater quality has improved.

Due to the historical groundwater impacts, the downgradient location of drinking water wells, and the material in the landfill; EGLE requested that GLPC sample select wells for PFAS.

The groundwater in the landfill area flows to the east/southeast through the underlying 35 feet of silt/clay/sand till.  There is limestone bedrock under the till.  The area southeast of the landfill is comprised of a large wetland/swamp with several small creeks.  There are three drinking water wells that are within one-half mile southeast of the landfill. 

Great Lakes Paper Pulp Landfill Map

Recent Accomplishments

  • On November 10, 2020, Northern Lakes Service, Inc., staff (a contractor to GLPC) collected six groundwater samples from side gradient groundwater monitoring wells and one sample from a surface water source at the landfill. 
  • On December 23, 2020, EGLE received results from the November 10, 2020 sampling event.  Five of the six groundwater samples were above PFAS criteria including monitoring well MW-203 sample result of 580 ppt PFOA.

Next Steps

  • Continue groundwater monitoring of landfill.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • EGLE is working with Delta-Menominee District Health Department to locate drinking water wells within one-half mile downgradient of the landfill and to discuss the potential need for drinking water well sampling.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None scheduled 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

May 18, 2020 - November 10, 2020 10 7
Surface Water November 10, 2020 1 0

*Residential well and groundwater monitoring well results are compared to EGLE Part 201 criteria for 7 PFAS compounds:  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

  • None at this time.

Historical Timeline

    • On April 29, 2019, EGLE sent a request to Great Lakes Pulp Company Landfill to sample selected on-site monitoring wells for PFAS analysis.
    • On May 18, 2020, Northern Lakes Service, Inc., staff (a contractor to GLPC) collected groundwater samples from four selected groundwater monitoring wells at the landfill. 
    • On July 27, 2020, EGLE received the sampling results from the May sampling event.  PFOA concentrations at MW-202 was 230 ppt and MW-204 was 1,200 ppt; PFOS was non-detect in each well.  
    • On August 27, 2020, EGLE contractor AECOM took a sample at one downgradient residential well and two samples at a downgradient surface water source from a small drainage ditch running under County Road 577.  Results from the residential well were non-detect for PFOA and PFOS. Results from the surface water sample from the drainage ditch were 6.86 ppt PFOA and non-detect PFOS. The second sample results were 6.37 ppt PFOA and 1.82 ppt PFOS.
    • On August 10, 2020, EGLE requested that Great Lakes Pulp Company sample additional side gradient monitoring wells to delineate the PFAS contamination plume.
    • On September 17, 2020, this site investigation was discussed at the virtual MPART PFAS Regional Informational Webinar - Northern Michigan Region. 
    • On November 10, 2020, Northern Lakes Service, Inc., staff (a contractor to GLPC) collected six groundwater samples from side gradient groundwater monitoring wells and one sample from a surface water source at the landfill. 
    • On December 23, 2020, EGLE received results from the November 10, 2020 sampling event.  Five of the six groundwater samples were above PFAS criteria including monitoring well MW-203 sample result of 580 ppt PFOA.