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Updated May 2011
The third five-year review for the Minot Landfill site was completed on May 3, 2011. A copy can be found in the Site Documents section below. The conclusions in the five-year review are that the remedy at the Minot Landfill currently protects human health and the environment because all routes of potential exposure have been cut off. Contaminated source material has been excavated and is being contained on the site beneath a landfill cap. Institutional controls are in place to prevent future land uses that could damage the remedial components in place and to prohibit installation of groundwater supply wells on the site or in the immediate vicinity of the site. No groundwater at the site or in the area surrounding the site is currently being used. Leachate and landfill gas are managed and controlled appropriately.
The five-year review report also contained some recommendations to ensure the remedy remains protective in the long term. These recommendations include repairing areas of erosion on the landfill cap, removal of trees bordering the cap, and regular inspection and cleaning of drainage swales on the site.
Current operation and maintenance activities conducted by the City of Minot include protection of the landfill cap and leachate drain system and monitoring groundwater throughout the site. The April 2009 Groundwater Monitoring Report indicates that there has been little change in the hydrogeological conditions around the Minot Landfill site, and that the levels of benzene and vinyl chloride have shown a distinct decline in the leachate from the landfill.
The Minot Landfill site, located about one mile southwest of downtown Minot, North Dakota, covers approximately 26 acres. Land use in the site vicinity is light industrial and residential. Areas southwest of the site are used for agriculture.
The landfill operated from 1961 to October 1971, receiving shipments of municipal and industrial wastes. These shipments included drums of oil, spent battery casings, calcium carbide and lime sludge. The original landfill waste had been placed at the base of a coulee. When the landfill was originally closed, the ridges making up the valley walls were used as final cover. The waste was covered with three feet of clay material and seeded. Subsequent recreational activities and traffic on the original cap caused erosion across the site. In mid-1985, the county health department investigated the site due to reports of foul odors and gas bubbles in standing water. Further investigation by the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDH) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed soil, groundwater, surface water (localized ponding), sediment and landfill gases were contaminated with: benzene, toluene, halogenated aliphatics, phenol and phenol-related compounds; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); and arsenic, barium and other metals.
The EPA listed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in March 1989.
Contaminants of concern at the site included: benzene and compounds; other volatile organic compounds (VOCs); metals including arsenic, copper and zinc; and phenol and compounds. Studies addressed groundwater, surface water, soil, sediment and landfill gases. Studies also evaluated risks to adult residents, occupational workers and children who live, work or play near the site. Nearby residences and businesses are connected to the City of Minot's municipal water system.
The Minot Landfill site was remediated and deleted from the National Priorities List in March 1997.
|Media Affected||Contaminants||Source of Contamination|
|groundwater, surface water, soil, leachate, solid waste, sediment, air||benzene and compounds; other volatile organic compounds (VOCs); metals including arsenic, copper and zinc; and phenol and compounds||landfill operations|
The landfill cleanup involved joint city, state, and federal actions, and included:
- Installing drains to collect leachate (water contaminated by percolating through waste materials buried within the landfill) for conveyance to the City of Minot wastewater treatment facility, and vent landfill gases to protect the clay cap.
- Installing a ground-water monitoring system.
- Implementing "institutional controls" that restrict or control land use within and next to the landfill.
The cleanup occurred during July, August and September 1996. Prior to the cleanup, the site was fenced to restrict access and minimize damage to the landfill cap. The State of North Dakota and the EPA approved the Final Remedial Action Completion Report on November 29, 1996.
Community involvement plays an important role in the Superfund process. The EPA uses a number of different tools and resources to promote effective, on-going, meaningful community involvement. The goals of the Superfund community involvement program are to:
- Keep communities affected by sites informed throughout the cleanup process.
- Provide opportunities for communities to comment and offer their input about site cleanup plans.
- Facilitate the resolution of community issues tied to a site.
The EPA, via a public notice, asks for public comment during five-year reviews. In October 2010, a public notice was published in the Minot Daily News newspaper announcing the commencement of the five-year review process for the site, and inviting community participation. Community interviews were conducted and are discussed in Section 6.6 of the five-year review report.
Previously, the designated site information repository was located at the North Dakota Department of Health in Bismarck, North Dakota. Because Bismarck is located more than 110 miles from the site, the EPA was able to secure a new site repository during this five-year review process. The new site repository is the Minot Public Library, located at 516 2nd Avenue SW, Minot, North Dakota 58701.
The EPA places a high priority on land redevelopment as part of its Superfund response program mission. The agency tries to select cleanup options that encourage and support future use of a site. The EPA uses two fundamental methods to facilitate redevelopment of Superfund sites:
- Exploring future uses before the cleanup remedy is implemented, an approach that gives the Agency the best chance of designing cleanup remedies to support likely future use of a site.
- Working with communities to remove barriers not considered necessary for the protection of human health or the environment at those sites where remedies are already in place.
One option for redevelopment is the siting of clean and renewable energy projects on contaminated (or formerly contaminated) lands. As part of this effort, the EPA is evaluating the potential for energy projects on these properties and working with communities to identify barriers to such projects. In cooperation with the EPA, towns and villages around the country are recovering idle properties and returning them to productive use.
The entire site is covered in grass, which is harvested twice a year for hay. Currently, there are no additional plans to reuse the site.
Minot Landfill: Reuse Fact Sheet, March 2013
Land Use Controls and Other Institutional Controls
Land use controls are the most common type of institutional control (IC). ICs are administrative or legal controls that help reduce the likelihood for human exposure to contamination. ICs can also help protect the integrity of the remedy. Examples of ICs are:
- Zoning ordinances
- Environmental covenants
- Deed notices
- Well-drilling restrictions
- Building permits
- Informational advisories
ICs play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to the contamination remaining on site by limiting land or resource use and guiding human behavior at a site. Zoning ordinances are often used at sites to restrict land use consistent with the level of cleanup. The National Contingency Plan (NCP) emphasizes that ICs are meant to supplement engineering controls and that ICs will rarely be the sole remedy at a site.
The City of Minot passed an ordinance implementing the institutional controls on November 4, 1996 (City Ordinance No. 3406) and a revision on August 4, 1997 (City Ordinance No. 3457 with Revision). The ordinances are contained in the City of Minot Municipal Code, which can be found in the Links section below. These institutional controls are effective to restrict access to the site and prevent the use of site groundwater. See a map of the site boundaries, Operable Units and institutional controls in Site Documents, below.
The EPA or the lead agency conducts five-year reviews following the start of a Superfund cleanup when contamination is left on the site. These reviews are repeated every five years. We use these reviews to determine:
- How the remedy is working
- If the remedy remains protective of human health and the environment
The most recent five-year review was completed in May 2011 and can be found in the Site Documents section. The next five-year review is scheduled for 2016.
You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.
Update to the Five-Year Review, January 2013
Map of Site Boundaries, Operable Units and Institutional Controls, September 12, 2011
Third Five-Year Review Report (PDF), May 3, 2011 (73 pp, 1.2 MB)
Federal Register Notice of Deletion from the NPL, April 1, 1997
Final Site Close Out Report, December 2, 1996
Explanation of Significant Differences (PDF), April 10, 1996 (11 pp, 27 K)
Record of Decision (PDF), September 21, 1993 (38 pp, 81 K)
U.S. EPA, Region 8
1595 Wynkoop Street (EPR-SR)
Denver, CO 80202-1129
800-227-8917 ext. 312-6493 (toll free Region 8 only)
Solid Waste Program
North Dakota Department of Health
Division of Waste Management
PO Box 168
Sawyer, ND 58781
Site Information Repositories:
Minot Public Library
516 2nd Avenue SW
Minot, ND 58701
EPA Superfund Records Center
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO 80202-1129
To request copies of administrative record documents call:
800-227-8917 ext. 312-7273 (toll free Region 8 only)
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