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Southwest Ottawa County Landfill Superfund Site (Park Township, Ottawa County)

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Please contact the Site Lead for the most up-to-date status of this site.

EGLE site lead

Jake Emmendorfer, or 517-245-5274.

Waste Disposal Questions

Please note that this landfill is CLOSED and does not accept waste. 


The 43-acre Southwest Ottawa County Landfill located at 2901 North 160th Avenue operated as a state licensed landfill, until its closure in 1981. The landfill was constructed and began operation by Ottawa County in 1968 and received solvents, heavy metals, sludge, oils, municipal refuse, and drums containing unspecified wastes. Major contaminants in the groundwater included: volatile organic compounds and iron. All of the contaminants were present at levels above the state's criteria. The site was added to the Superfund National Priorities List in September 1983.

Groundwater contamination occurs in an unconfined sand aquifer. The Ottawa County Road Commission (OCRC) has been operating a groundwater treatment system since 1987. Groundwater monitoring and methane gas monitoring continue to document the conditions of groundwater and methane gas downgradient and around the landfill property.

In 2020, EGLE requested that OCRC conduct PFAS sampling to help assess proposed modifications to the treatment system.

Despite a groundwater use restriction ordinance that covers the Site and the downgradient groundwater plume, private wells exist downgradient of the Site. EGLE is working with local health and MDHHS to determine if there are any residential wells that need to be sampled.

Since the Site is located upgradient of Lake Michigan, the Site's groundwater is monitored for compliance with the Part 201 Groundwater Surface Water Interface (GSI) Criteria for discharging to a drinking water source. The 2020 PFAS sampling results indicated groundwater concentrations above GSI criteria. However, the nature and extent of the PFAS groundwater plume has not yet been fully characterized. Additionally, OCRC has a permit to discharge treated groundwater to Lake Michigan. At this time, the treatment system meets all requirements for discharge water quality standards. EGLE staff are evaluating appropriate monitoring frequencies and discharge limits of the treatment system for PFAS.

Content posted May 2022.

Figures 2 map

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Figures 1 map

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Drinking water

Municipal water has been provided to residents within the Groundwater Use Restriction Ordinance Area. EGLE is working with local health and MDHHS to determine if there are any residential wells that need to be sampled.

Anticipated activities

EGLE staff will continue discussions with OCRC regarding PFAS sampling locations and frequency for the permanent groundwater monitoring well network. OCRC will develop a work plan for EGLE staff review and approval. Recommendations for additional PFAS sampling are pending.

Historical timeline

    • In August 2020, OCRC completed the 2020 Annual Groundwater sampling event, including PFAS sampling at 5 permanent monitoring well locations. In July 2021, this data was submitted to EGLE for review.  The highest result was 28 ppt PFOA and 24 ppt PFOS.
      • In July 2021, OCRC submitted a draft PFAS Monitoring Plan to further investigate the PFAS groundwater contamination at the Site. EGLE and OCRC continue to discuss comments to the draft document.
      • On August 26, 2021, an initial scoping meeting was held with staff from EGLE, MDHHS, Ottawa County Health Department and Ottawa County Road Commission.
      • In August 2021, OCRC completed the 2021 Annual Groundwater sampling event.
      • On August 27, 2021, OCRC submitted to EGLE a technical memorandum that summarizes OCRCs review of the Contaminated Groundwater Use Ordinance for the Site, as well as the status of municipal water and any private wells in the vicinity of the Site. On October 10, 2021, EGLE staff provided comments to OCRC. EGLE staff will work with OCRC to develop an action plan to follow-up with properties with private groundwater wells.
      • In September/October 2021, PFAS samples were collected from 4 permanent monitoring wells downgradient of the site, and 1 monitoring well upgradient of the landfill. The results were submitted to EGLE in December 2021. Samples exceeded Part 201 Residential Drinking Water Criterion for PFOA and PFOS, as well as Part 201 GSI criterion for PFOS. The highest result was 29 ppt PFOS and 33 ppt PFOA.
    • In March 2022, OCRC initiated a short-term wastewater characterization study (STWCS) to analyze for PFAS in the influent and effluent from the Site’s groundwater treatment system. The duration of the STWCS is 7 months and the data from this study will help determine the Site’s compliance with discharge permitting requirements.

    Sampling Results Summary

    Type of Sample

    Date Sampled (or Range)

    Numberof Sample Results Received

    Number of Samples above Criteria*

    Groundwater Monitoring Wells

    August 2020 - October 2021 15 11
    * Residential well and groundwater monitoring well results are compared to EGLE Part 201 criteria for 7 PFAS compounds effective 12/21/2020:  PFOS (16 parts per trillion [ppt]), PFOA (8 ppt), PFNA (6 ppt), PFHxS (51 ppt), PFHxA (400,000 ppt), PFBS (420 ppt), and HFPO-DA (370 ppt).

    Sampling Notes

    • OCRC reported PFAS results for 9 PFAS compounds (PFBA, PFBS, PFHpA, PFHxA, PFHxS, PFOA, PFOS, PFPeA, PFPeS).