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HEALTH CONSULTATION

KAUFMAN LANDFILL
HUMBOLDT, COLES COUNTY, ILLINOIS


BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF ISSUES

The Kaufman Landfill site is approximately 3 miles west-northwest of Humboldt, Illinois, in northwestern Coles County (northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 36, Township 14 North, Range 7 East) (Figure 1). The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), at the request of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, reviewed the historical and environmental data available to determine if a public health threat exists at the site. Hazardous chemicals have been identified in the soil, groundwater, and surface water. The site is on the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act Inventory System (CERCLIS) list.

The site is on approximately 17 acres in a rural area. It is bordered by a wetland and the Kaskaskia River on the west, an intermittent stream and wooded area on the north, and farmland on the east and south. Land within 4 miles of the site is used for agriculture and oil production.

The landfill is behind the owner/operator's house and farm. A 30-foot deep drinking water well within 200 feet of the southwestern corner of the landfill serves the residents. The water is used for drinking and general farming purposes (watering livestock, crop irrigation, etc.). Surrounding residents have private wells. Ponds are also used as a source of drinking water for cattle. The Town of Humboldt, 3 miles east-southeast of the site, obtains its drinking water supply from surface water, Lake Paradise, approximately 13 miles south of Humboldt [1].

The landfill operated from 1973 to 1988. Although the landfill has been inactive since January 1988, it has not been properly closed. The landfill reportedly contains tires, empty herbicide and paint cans, automobile and farm equipment parts, refrigerators and ranges, oil, batteries, Celtox Insulation (poly-isocyanurate foam board), high graphite core sand, incinerator ash, defective camera flash bulbs, barrels containing an unidentified "blue-green powder," and empty barrels labeled "Acetone" and "Methyl Chloride" [2]. The trash was likely put into trenches that were then filled. The landfill has no liner, leachate collection, or gas collection systems; however, a methane vent is in approximately the center of the landfill. In addition, one monitoring well (installed when the landfill opened) is on the west side of the site [1].

While in operation, the Kaufman Landfill was routinely inspected. Many citations were issued for a variety of permit violations. These violations included inadequate cover of wastes, leachate seeps flowing in the direction of the river, ponded water, and erosion channels [1].

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) collected soil, groundwater, and surface water samples at the site during a November 1988 Screening Site Inspection. Analytical results suggested that further investigation was necessary. Subsequently, the IEPA site assessment unit conducted a Focused Site Inspection Prioritization (FSIP) in the summer of 1995. As a result, soil, sediment, and groundwater samples were collected in June 1995.

Regional staff from IDPH visited the site with IEPA personnel on November 8, 1996. The site was surrounded by a barbed wire or woven fence. The gated access road to the landfill was an extension of the owner/operator's driveway. Tire tracks indicated that the landfill ground cover had been recently worked. A couple of wet depression areas were on site. Although some garbage debris was scattered on parts of the site, the tire pile mentioned in a previous report had been removed. Most of the site was vegetated with alfalfa and cattails. An approximately eight-foot-tall tree was growing northeast of the landfill's gas vent (Figure 2). Land north and west of the site was eroding. No leachate streams or leachate seeps were on or off the site at the time of the site visit.

Surface water from the site drains through channels and eroded ditches to the Kaskaskia River. The Kaskaskia River is a fishery (Figure 2). The western side of the site drains over an eroded embankment into the wetlands that appeared to be contiguous with the river. The eastern side of the landfill drains north along the fence line and discharges into an intermittent stream running east-west along the northern landfill boundary. A small berm on the southern landfill boundary prevents flow from running off the southern boundary.


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