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Former Falk Road Landfill (Holly Township, Oakland County)

 EGLE Site Lead: Kimberly Ethridge, EthridgeK@Michigan.gov or 586-324-0183. Content last updated: December 8, 2021.

Background

The Former Falk Road Landfill (FFRL), located at 16000 Falk Road, is a 40-acre property with two main locations where unidentified/undocumented garbage and lawn/leaf refuse was disposed from around 1927 until 1980. Part of the site was also used as a shooting range.  This site has been sampled for various pollutants since 1994.  PFAS was sampled by Holly Village in 2020, then by EGLE in 2021.  Thirty-two samples were collected at 24 monitoring wells.  Four groundwater samples had PFAS exceeding groundwater cleanup criteria.

FFRL is near the Shiawassee River. Swartz and Buckhorn Creeks are tributaries streams that flow from the north and south.  There are several ponds on the FFRL and southern adjoining property.  Rice Lake and Bush Lake are northwest of the FFRL.  Groundwater flow is complex in this area: the deeper groundwater flow direction is generally assumed to flow to the west-northwest, but shallow groundwater flow direction may be more radial toward the south, west, and northwest.  Shallow and deeper groundwater is relied upon for drinking water. 

Former Falk Road Landfill map 

Recent Accomplishments

  • On May 10, 2021, MPART held a virtual Town Hall Meeting for stakeholders to share sampling results. The Former Falk Road Landfill became an MPART PFAS Site.
  • In April-August 2021, OCHD collected non-PFAS water samples from 17 residential wells around the FFRL. Except for naturally occurring water hardness and metals in some residents' water (Iron, Arsenic, Manganese), sample results from all 17 residential wells had no exceedances of Part 201 drinking water criteria.
  • On May 27, 2021, EGLE conducted surface water and fish tissue sampling at Rice Lake and Bush Lake. Sample results from Bush Lake showed PFOA and PFOS was detected below the laboratory reporting limits and below Water Quality Values of 12,000 ppt for PFOA and 12 ppt for PFOS. Sample results from Rice Lake showed no detections of PFAS.
    • Sample results from fish tissues are pending and will be reported when received.
  • On July 22, 2021, three additional residential wells south the FFRL, and south of the residential well exceeding PFOA, were sampled for PFAS. Sample results from all three residential wells showed no detections of PFAS.
  • On November 5, 2021, in response to neighbors' foam observations at the FFRL's northern property boundary, EGLE obtained a surface water sample from a shallow pond. Sample results from the surface water at the northern boundary of the FFRL showed PFOA and PFOS were detected but below Water Quality Values of 12,000 ppt for PFOA and 12 ppt for PFOS.
  • Between October 18-20, 2021, Holly Village's environmental consultant collected groundwater samples from on-site monitoring wells.  EGLE is awaiting receipt of the report/results from the Holly Village.

Next Steps

  • EGLE will evaluate results and continue to monitor compliance activities and environmental conditions at the FFRL to protect public health and the environment. 
  • EGLE will review the October 2021 groundwater sampling report when received. 

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • Select nearby residential wells will continue to be monitored.

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*

Residential Wells April 2021 - July 2021 13 2**

Groundwater Monitoring Wells

July 2020 - March 2021 24 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).

Sampling Notes

  • The above table does not reflect resident self-sampling data. 
  • **The second sample above criteria (PFOA at 19 ppt compared to the 8 ppt criteria), was the re-sample of the residence with the first above sample criteria (PFOA at 18 ppt compared to the 8 ppt criteria). 

Historical Timeline

    • In 1996 a Hydrogeologic study for landfill closure was also conducted. The study/report was not in EGLE files but was first provided in November 2020 and gave pertinent additional information.
    • 2019-2020: Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) collected water samples from two residential wells on Falk Road.  Samples were analyzed for non-PFAS analytes, including metals and volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds.   The only analytes that were detected were naturally occurring arsenic and iron.  Letters were provided to the residents.
    • In February 2020, EGLE sent a letter to Holly Village requesting an investigation of the landfill. EGLE requested sampling for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), metals, Chloride, Potassium, Manganese, Iron, Boron, and PFAS from the existing groundwater monitoring wells on the landfill property. Sampling was put on hold due to statewide COVID restrictions.
    • In July 2020, Holly Village sampled monitoring wells.
    • In November 2020, Holly Village submitted a report with the results from the July 2020 sampling event.  One sample contained PFNA above groundwater water cleanup criteria.
    • In December 2020, EGLE and the Village visited the landfill and located newly discovered groundwater monitoring wells.  EGLE obtained funding for additional groundwater sampling on January 19, 2021.
    • On March 8-9, 2021, EGLE resampled the groundwater monitoring wells Holly Village sampled in 2020, plus some newly discovered monitoring wells.  Results showed two monitoring wells contained PFAS exceeding groundwater cleanup criteria.
    • On March 19, 2021, four residents sampled their own residential wells.  According to the lab report EGLE was provided, three of four wells were non-detect, and one had PFOA at 18 ppt, with criteria being 8 ppt for PFOA.
    • On April 1, 2021, EGLE secured funding and sent access consent letters to ten residents surrounding the FFRL to sample residential wells. 
    • On April 14, 2021, EGLE and environmental consultant AECOM, sampled ten residential wells after obtaining owners' access consent.  Four residential wells sampled in March 2021 were re-sampled to verify the March test results, plus six additional residential wells in close radius around the FFRL.  Samples were collected from a pre-treated water spigot.
    • On April 30, 2021, PFAS sample results indicated that nine of the ten residential wells sampled April 14, 2021, were non-detect for all PFAS analytes sampled. The one residential well with a previous PFOA exceedance again had PFOA, at 19 ppt versus the 8 ppt criteria.  (This resident had already been provided a pitcher filter).  MPART determined next steps and scheduled a town hall meeting to inform stakeholders.