Lee's Lane Landfill
Site Summary ProfileEPA ID: KYD980557052
Location: Louisville, Jefferson County, KY
Lat/Long: 38.191110, -085.883060
Congressional District: 03
NPL Status: Proposed: 12/30/82; Final: 09/08/83; Deleted: 04/25/96
Affected Media: Ground water, Surface water, Sediment, Soil, Air
Cleanup Status: Deleted from the NPL - Physical cleanup activities have been completed.
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: Yes
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: None
Site Manager: Donna Seadler (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Current Site Status
The Lee's Lane Landfill site includes an area where a landfill operated from the 1940s until 1975. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983 because of contaminated ground water, surface water, sediment, soil and air resulting from landfill operations. EPA, the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection (KDEP), and the Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD), one of the site’s Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs), have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination. A water line connects nearby residences and businesses to the public water supply. By monitoring ground water and air and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA, KDEP and the Louisville and Jefferson County MSD continue to protect people and the environment from site contamination. The most recent Five-Year Review was inconclusive. EPA needs more information to determine whether the current remedy is protective. At this time, the gas collection system venting gases from the landfill is not functioning. EPA is testing homes near the landfill to ensure that contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the site.
Site Location and Background
The 112-acre site is located next to the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky. Vegetation covers the site. A chemical plant borders the site to the northeast. The Louisville Flood Protection Levee borders the site to the southeast. Riverside Garden, a residential area, borders the site to the east. The residential area includes low-income residents. A Louisville Gas and Electric Company power plant borders the site to the southwest. The Ohio River borders the site to the north and west.
From the 1940s to 1975, landfill operations at the site accepted domestic, commercial and industrial wastes. Prior to landfill operations, sand and gravel quarry operations took place at the site. In 1975, residents living next to the site reported flash fires around their water heaters. Local authorities detected methane gas. They evacuated residents and purchased seven homes near the site. In 1980, KDEP found 400 drums of hazardous and flammable materials along the Ohio River next to the landfill. In 1983, EPA listed the site on the NPL. Following cleanup activities, EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 1996. The site is not in use. Parties have discussed the potential reuse of the site in the future, including recreational and renewable energy uses.
Site investigations found contamination in ground water, surface water, sediment, soil and air that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste handling practices at the site. Contaminants of concern include benzene, inorganic chemicals, lead, arsenic, methane gas, phenolic resins and heavy metals. EPA has addressed surface water, soil and sediment contamination at the site.
In 1980, the Kentucky Department of Hazardous Material installed a gas collecting, venting and monitoring system at the landfill to address air contamination. EPA also installed air monitoring stations in the residential area next to the site.
In June 2013, EPA sampled gases in the soil from the landfill toward the residential community. This sampling showed that gases were migrating off the site at unacceptable levels, indicating that the gas collection and venting system is ineffective. In June 2014, EPA conducted vapor intrusion sampling in 33 nearby homes in order to determine whether the gases are present in the homes. Methane, which had been a primary concern at the time of EPA’s initial response at the site, does not appear to be a threat at this time.
Site ground water flows into the Ohio River. While Louisville and Jefferson County MSD, one of the site’s PRPs, continues to monitor ground water as part of the ongoing operations and maintenance (O&M) activities at the site, levels of ground water contamination were not significant enough to warrant cleanup prior to entering the Ohio River.
Because of the age of the existing wells, and the need for more extensive groundwater data, KDEP installed 5 new groundwater monitoring wells in April 2014. The wells were sampled in May 2014 and results should be available by the end of July 2014.The access road to the site is gated and No Trespassing signs, indicating the Site’s Superfund status, are posted along the site borders.
Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight
EPA led site investigation and cleanup activities in cooperation with KDEP. Since 1992, the Louisville and Jefferson County MSD, one of the site’s PRPs, has led O&M activities at the site.
Site Cleanup Plan
In 1986, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for the site. The plan included the following activities:
- Cleaning up surface waste areas.
- Installing riverbank erosion protection controls.
- Sampling ground water.
- Removing exposed drums from the site and disposing of them at an off-site landfill.
- Placing a cap over contaminated soil and exposed wastes.
- Placing cautionary signs at the site.
- Installing a gate to control access to the site.
In 1980, the Kentucky Department of Hazardous Materials and Waste Management installed a gas venting system on Site. In 1981, the owners of the site pumped liquid wastes from the exposed drums found near the Ohio River and transported hazardous wastes off site for disposal. The owners of the site also removed drums and other wastes from the riverbank and buried them on site.
In 1987 and 1988, EPA conducted cleanup activities at the site. EPA completed cleanup activities required by the ROD and deleted the site from the NPL in 1996.
EPA finished the activities required by the ROD in 1988. Ground water and air monitoring continue to occur as part of long-term O&M activities for the site.
The site’s fifth Five-Year Review, completed in 2013, was inconclusive as to whether the cleanup currently protects people and the environment. In order to make this determination, additional information on soil and groundwater is necessary. This information will be used to better assess risk at the site. In addition, the gas collection system is not functioning, and needs replacement.
In an effort to begin addressing the data needs, KDEP conducted surface and subsurface soil sampling at 28 locations on the Site in April 2013. The constituents detected on the Site above the industrial RSLs include arsenic, lead, benzo(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, dibenzo(a,h)anthracene, Aroclor 1248, and di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate. Not all constituents were detected at all locations. EPA recommends additional sampling of several locations to further assess potential risk.
EPA conducted soil gas sampling along the site perimeter in June 2013. The sampling results indicated 6 constituents migrating off-site at levels which, if found in nearby homes, would present a long-term health risk. Because of this, EPA conducted vapor intrusion sampling in 33 homes in the adjacent Riverside Gardens community to determine whether gases from the landfill were migrating into the homes. The sampling was conducted in June 2014. EPA expects to have sampling results in early September. If any constituents are found at levels of unacceptable risk, EPA plans to provide mitigations systems to ventilate the gases.
KDEP installed 5 new groundwater monitoring wells at the Site in May 2014. The sampling results should be available in August 2014.
On July 16, 1991, the EPA issued an Administrative Order of Consent under which the Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District agreed to perform operations and maintenance activities at the Site for twenty-nine years with oversight from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In 1992 and 1997, EPA settled with 24 PRPs under three separate agreements, to recover costs of $4.1 million spent at the Site.
In March 2014, EPA held a meeting with the settling PRPs or their successors to discuss the most recent Five-Year Review and the need for additional data.
EPA worked with the community and KDEP to develop a long-term cleanup plan for the site, reflecting the Agency’s commitment to safe, healthy communities and environmental protection. Community engagement and public outreach are core components of EPA program activities.
EPA conducted a range of community involvement activities to solicit community input and to make sure the public remains informed about site activities throughout the cleanup process. Outreach efforts have included public notices, interviews and information meetings.
For the 2013 Five Year Review, EPA sent a notice to the community and site mailing list regarding the start of the Review. EPA also conducted interviews of community members and local government officials.
In May 2013, EPA held two public availability sessions to provide information about recent sampling results and upcoming vapor intrusion sampling.
EPA completed the last Five-Year Review in October 2013. The result of this review was inconclusive, which means additional data is necessary in order to determine whether the remedy is currently protective of human health and the environment. EPA met with the settling parties in March 2014 to discuss the results of the last Five Year Review and the need for additional data. EPA and KDEP intend to continue efforts to obtain the data needed to determine next steps at the Site.
EPA keeps additional site documents and information in site information repositories at the locations below. EPA also posts site documents, when available, on EPA’s CERCLIS Site Profile page. For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.
In July 2012, the EPA re-established a records repository at the Shively-Newman Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library at 3920 Dixie Highway, Louisville, KY 40216. The repository includes the Site Administrative Record (those documents used to support the ROD at the Site) and the Deletion Docket (those documents used to support the deletion of the Site from the NPL). While not required by statute, the EPA also included all documents which had already been reviewed and released under the Freedom of Information Act.