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Leachate from Abandoned Dumps

Leachate from Abandoned Dumps

Improperly disposed of industrial, commercial and residential waste has the potential of leaking heavy metals, toxins and other pollutants into surface and ground water. This occurs because these pollutants are dumped in areas that are not lined to prevent leaching. It also occurs when the river banks erode and expose refuse in old dump sites. A survey of 18 abandoned dump sites did find some leachate seeps, gas seeps, stressed vegetation and insufficient cover over the waste. The Rouge Project is working to identify these abandoned dumps, thereby allowing them to enter into the proper regulatory process discussed below.

These sites of environmental contamination are addressed by various programs of the Remediation and Redevelopment Division (RRD) of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). The RRD administers Part 201, Environmental Remediation, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 Public Act 451, as amended, (formerly known as Act 307) and portions of the federal Superfund program established under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Within these programs, the RRD conducts and oversees investigations and cleanup activities at contaminated sites throughout the state. The RRD reviews and approves site cleanup plans and oversees the cleanup process at many cleanups performed by private parties.

To encourage and facilitate the redevelopment of contaminated urban sites, the RRD provides a wide range of site redevelopment services. Services include grant and loan funding for local units of government for investigations and cleanup actions, site re-use consultation, generic cleanup options based on future land use, and provisions to protect innocent parties from liability for pre-existing contamination, including review of baseline environmental assessments and due care plans. To obtain more information about the ERD programs please click here to go to their web site.

MDEQ has many interactive and data driven lists that can be accessed by clicking on Environmental Online Services. These online lists will show locations of such things as the Part 201 hazardous waste sites, leaking underground storage tanks, hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities in Michigan and their status, Superfund sites, etc. These lists, available by county, are kept current by MDEQ and therefore provide the latest available information.

"A Summary of Waste Disposal Sites in the Rouge River Watershed" was prepared by the Rouge Project Office in 1994. The report is a summary of data on waste disposal sites along the Rouge River in Wayne and Oakland counties. A total of 112 active and inactive landfills and dumps were located. Additional information can be found on the website under Contaminated Sites.

To learn more about the Rouge Project's abandoned dump sites evaluation and guidance click on the technical reports listed here:

  1. Abandoned Dump Site Process Site Survey Summaries-Garden City Park, Joy Road Site, Maybury State Park, Sims Road Site
  2. Abandoned Dump Sites Evaluation and Guidance
  3. Abandoned Dump Sites Field Survey Summary
  4. Field Reconnaissance Plan for Abandoned Fill Survey
  5. Guidelines for Closure of Abandoned Dump Sites
  6. Process for Abandoned Dumps in the Rouge River Watershed
  7. Process for Evaluating Abandoned Dump Sites Field Sampling Plan
  8. Summary of Waste Disposal Sites
Leachate from Abandoned Dumps

Last Updated: 6/21/2004

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The Rouge River National Wet Weather Demonstration Project is funded, in part, by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Grants #XP995743-01, -02, -03, -04, -05, -06, -07 and C-264000-01.