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Fenske Landfill Inc. (Tallmadge Township, Ottawa County)

EGLE Site Lead: Kent Walters, WaltersK7@Michigan.gov or 616-278-4350. Webpage last updated May 5, 2021

Background

Fenske Landfills, Inc., located at 2646 Kenowa Avenue, in Ottawa County, has historically been used for municipal, commercial, and industrial waste. According to records, waste oil, paint sludges, solvents, septic tank sludge, and plating wastes were disposed of in lagoons in the areas now occupied by the Phase I and II cells. Phases I and II were both constructed with liners and a landfill leachate collection system. Before the construction of the landfill, the sludges were removed and placed into a diked cell west of Phase II and covered with clay soils. This area is now referred to as the Sludge Cell.  In 1984, EGLE sampled groundwater downgradient of the landfill and detected Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the groundwater above drinking water standards.  In 2001 and 2002, after the liable parties failed to implement appropriate response, EGLE used state funds to cap the Phase II cell and operated a leachate treatment system to prevent leaking of the landfill leachate into the Grand River. Due to the presence of VOC contamination and historical disposal of wastes that likely contained PFAS, EGLE sampled groundwater downgradient of the site for PFAS contamination.

Groundwater at the site flows to the southwest towards the Grand River. A groundwater flow reversal typically occurs in the spring or periods of significant precipitation; however, this effect is short-lasting and is localized near the Grand River.  There is also a small unnamed drain that flows along the north and southeast sides of the landfill and the Grand River. 

In June 2019, EGLE sampled the Grand River for PFAS analysis as part of a watershed investigation. Samples were collected immediately downgradient of Fenske Landfills, Inc., and had results of 3.3 and 2 ppt for PFOS and PFOA respectively, which are below water quality standards.

Fenske Landfill Inc. map

Recent Accomplishments

  • On October 26 - 27, 2020, EGLE sampled six existing groundwater monitoring wells, five of which were downgradient of the site. In addition, EGLE sampled two surface water locations, one from an unnamed drain to the southeast of the landfill and one from water that collected in the unconstructed Phase III landfill cell.
  • On November 6, 2020, EGLE received results from six groundwater monitoring wells and two surface water locations.  Five of the six groundwater monitoring wells exceed criteria.  The highest PFOA was 94 ppt collected from monitor well MW-1D, the highest PFOS was 110 ppt collected from monitor well MW-1D, the highest PFHxS was from monitor well MW-1D, the highest PFHxA was from monitor well MW-1D, and the highest PFBS was 20 ppt from monitor well MW-16.  PFNA was not detected in any sample results.  For surface water, the highest PFOA and PFOS was detected in the unconstructed Phase III cell at 6 and 10 ppt respectively, which is below water quality standards.

Next Steps

  • If funding becomes available possible, next steps could include expanded sampling of the existing monitoring wells.

Residential Well Testing/Alternate Water Information

  • There are no residential wells downgradient of the site.

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

October 2020 6 5
Surface Water October 2020 2 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

  • Two landfill leachate samples were also collected and analyzed for PFAS. There are currently no standards for leachate.  Surface water sampling results above only reflect on site surface water sampling.