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Former Northside Landfill (Dalton Township, Muskegon County)

EGLE Site Lead: Peter VanHeest, VanHeestP@Michigan.gov. Last Updated: July 14, 2021.

 

Background

The former Northside Landfill is located on the south side of East McMillan Road between Putnam and Pillon Roads in Dalton Township, Muskegon County. The landfill operated from at least the 1960s to the mid-1970s. The landfill reportedly received household and commercial waste; however, records indicate that the landfill may have received liquid and sludge industrial waste on at least one occasion.

In the spring of 2020, EGLE conducted a records review to attempt to identify the source of PFAS contamination that was impacting a Type II water supply for a childcare center that had been sampled by EGLE as part of the state-wide testing initiative. The former Northside Landfill was identified as the primary suspected source. In the summer of 2020, EGLE sampled seven residential drinking water wells in the area and began preparations for an initial environmental investigation at the site.

In October 2020, EGLE began an initial environmental investigation of the former Northside Landfill property, which consisted of groundwater sampling from temporary monitoring wells. PFAS were detected in multiple groundwater samples at concentrations exceeding one or more criteria.

Residences in the area are serviced by private drinking water wells.  The former landfill is bordered to the east by Bear Creek, which flows from the northeast to southwest. Groundwater flow direction has not been measured but is likely towards Bear Creek.

Former Northside Landfill Map 

Recent Accomplishments

  • The results of EGLE's spring of 2021 sampling of the shallow groundwater in the Bear Creek Valley indicate that the PFAS contamination from the former landfill is flowing into the Bear Creek Valley. The maximum detection of PFOS was 169 ppt and PFOA was 196 ppt.
  • Four surface water samples were collected from Bear Creek near the former landfill as part of EGLE's spring 2021 investigation. Low levels of PFAS were detected in three of the four samples; however, none of the concentrations exceeded criteria.

Next Steps

  • EGLE continues to offer to sample drinking water wells in the sample areas indicated on the map on this webpage if the owners agree to the sampling.

Residential Well Testing

  • Residences in the area are serviced by private drinking water wells.  
  • If you live within the sampling areas (see orange boundaries on map) and have not returned the sample agreement form, please consider doing so. If you have lost the form, please contact the EGLE project manager, Peter Van Heest, at VanHeestP@Michigan.gov or 616-439-8019 to receive a new form.

Upcoming Community Engagement

  • None planned at this time.

Sampling Results Summary

Type of Sample

Date Sampled (or Range)

Number of Sample Results Received

Number of Samples above Criteria*

 Residential Wells July 2020 - February 2021 14 2

Groundwater Monitoring Wells

October 2020 - April 2021 26 17
Surface Water April 2021 4 0

*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

  • None at this time.

Historical Timeline

    • In the summer of 2020, EGLE requested access for sampling of drinking water wells from 26 properties in the vicinity of the childcare center to determine if other drinking water wells were being impacted. Only seven of these properties granted access. Of the seven sampled drinking water wells, one had a detection of PFOS above criteria.
    • On October 20, 2020, as part of EGLE's initial environmental investigation, 13 groundwater samples were collected from temporary monitoring wells drilled around the perimeter of the former landfill.   
    • On November 11, 2020, EGLE received the sampling results of the environmental investigation.  11 of the 13 samples collected exceeded criteria. The highest PFOS and PFOA concentrations were 784 ppt and 659 ppt, respectively and the highest PFNA and PFHxS concentrations were 30.1 ppt and 59.7 ppt, respectively.
    • Based upon the environmental sample results collected during the initial environmental investigation, in early December 2020 EGLE mailed access request letters for drinking water well sampling to the properties that did not grant access in the summer 2020 sampling event and to 11 additional properties.
    • In January 2021, EGLE sampled the drinking water wells at three residential homes and one business and in February 2021 sampled the drinking water wells at two additional homes.