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Fact Sheet 1

Fact Sheet January 2006

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD Proposed Consent Decree MIG/DeWane Landfill Belvidere, Illinois


The MIG/DeWane landfill is located in Boone County approximately one-quarter mile east of the City of Belvidere and one-half mile north of U.S. Business Route 20.

Between 1969 and 1988, the 47-acre landfill received general refuse and industrial wastes including paint sludge, volatile organic chemicals, asbestos and liquids containing heavy metals. The site was not properly closed and capped, resulting in a 5 to 10-acre depression in the middle of the landfill. This depression collected water, which drained into the landfill, resulting in over one hundred leachate seeps.

In 1989 and 1990, the Illinois EPA and U.S Environmental Protection Agency (U.S EPA), in two separate actions, removed approximately 155,000 gallons of leachate. * In 1991, parties responding to a U.S. EPA and Illinois EPA Administrative Order on Consent conducted a number of interim actions including the installation of an interim cap over the landfill. The landfill was placed on the National Priorities List (sometimes called the Superfund List) in 1990.

In April 1999, elevated levels of landfill gas were detected in the soil and in a few homes in Wycliffe Estates directly west of the landfill. The parties responding to the 1991 Administrative Order on Consent installed an active landfill-gas interception system along the western boundary of the landfill. The system significantly reduced landfill gas within a month. No landfill gas has been detected in the subdivision during the past six years.

*Leachate is water that has passed through landfill waste and picked up contaminants present in the waste.

On January 4, 2006, the State of Illinois lodged a proposed consent decree in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District in Illinois regarding the MIG/DeWane Landfill in Belvidere.

What is the content of the consent decree?

Without admitting liability, the defendants have agreed:

  • to design and implement the remedy for the landfill that was designated in the 2000 Record of Decision (ROD), (the accompanying fact sheet summarizes the ROD),
  • to reimburse the state for pasts costs it has incurred at the site,
  • to pay the state for future costs including oversight of work conducted by the defendants and
  • to not sue the state for any costs relating to the site.

Who are the defendants listed in the consent decree?

The defendants are BFI Waste Systems of North America, Inc. , five past and present owners and 88 former customers of the landfill including municipalities and manufacturers.

May I comment on the proposed consent decree?

Yes. The public may send written comments on the proposed consent decree to Gerald T. Karr, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Illinois Attorney General, Environmental Bureau, 188 West Randolph Street, 20th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60601. Comments must be postmarked by February 21, 2006 and should refer to The State of Illinois v. BFI Waste Systems of North America, Inc. , et. al.

Where can I view the proposed consent decree?

The proposed consent decree may be viewed at (1) the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) headquarters in Springfield, Illinois (2) the Ida Public Library in Belvidere or (3) the Illinois EPA website. The locations of these sites are listed on the bottom of page two.

What are the next steps?

During 2006, the defendants will conduct a predesign investigation to collect information needed to design the remedy designated in the 2000 ROD. This information will include an evaluation of present landfill, leachate, landfill gas and groundwater conditions. Actual construction of the remedy probably will not begin until 2007.

Will the pipes and wells in the soil borrow pit area west of the landfill be removed?

The pipes and wells are an aboveground landfill-gas extraction system. The main extraction system is buried to the east, closer to the landfill. As a precautionary measure, the aboveground system will remain in place to ensure protection against landfill gas moving into the Wycliffe Estates Subdivision. The 2000 ROD requires that a fence be constructed around the landfill and the soil borrow pit area.


For more information about the consent decree contact

Gerald T. Karr, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Environmental Bureau, Office of the Illinois Attorney General, 188 West Randolph Street, 20th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60601.

For more information about the site contact

Stan Black

Community Relations Coord.

Illinois EPA

1021 N. Grand Ave. E.

Box 19276

Springfield, Illinois 62794-9276

Phone: 217-785-1427
Rick Lanham

Project Manager

Illinois EPA

1021 N. Grand Ave. E.

Box 19276

Springfield, Illinois 62794-9276

Phone: 217-782-9881


The proposed consent decree and other project documents are available at the project repository located at the Ida Public Library, 320 North State St. , Belvidere, IL 61008.

Administrative record file

This file contains all the documents that are the basis for Illinois EPA and U.S. EPA decisions for this project. It is located at the Illinois EPA headquarters in Springfield, Illinois. Call 217/782-9878 for more information.

2000 Record of Decision

MIG/DeWane Landfill

Belvidere, Illinois

The 2000 Record of Decision (ROD) for the MIG/DeWane Landfill documents the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) decision on the final remedy for this site. The agencies made this decision after carefully considering public comments received during a public comment period held from June 11, 1999 to August 27, 1999. The Illinois EPA signed the ROD on March 30, 2000 and the U.S. EPA signed a letter of concurrence on March 31, 2000. THE ROD includes the following requirements:

Landfill gas management

As garbage decays in a landfill, it generates methane gas. The ROD requires that up to 15 additional passive gas vents be installed within the interior of the landfill to supplement the existing landfill-gas interception system installed in 1999. These vents can be upgraded to an active system if necessary. The active landfill-gas extraction system will be enhanced if necessary.

Landfill Cover/Cap

A multi-component landfill cap and cover system will be constructed and maintained to meet required landfill standards. The purpose of the cap is to minimize the infiltration of rain or other precipitation into the landfill, thus reducing the generation of leachate* and landfill gases and the movement of contaminants into groundwater, soil and air. The cap will cover the entire landfill. The landfill vegetative cover will be maintained to the maximum extent possible before, during and after construction. Unless the Illinois EPA approves alternate layers, the landfill cover/cap from top to bottom will consist of:

  • a vegetative layer of at least six inches over the entire landfill cap,
  • a protective 24-inch layer on the crest tapering to a minimum of 18 inches at the toe of the landfill, (the tapering and reduction in the depth of the protective layer is due to engineering problems associated with the closeness of the landfill cap to the property boundaries and physical barriers such as railroad tracks and buried fiber optic cable),
  • a drainage layer of synthetic material,
  • a low permeability layer of synthetic material or a combination of synthetic material and clay, and
  • a subsoil/grading layer of at least 12 inches of compacted soil.

* Leachate is water that has passed through landfill waste and picked up contaminants present in the waste.

Storm Water/ Surface Water Management

A runoff diversion and drainage system will be constructed so that the cap is not eroded. This system will include a drainage ditch around the toe of the landfill and a storm water retention pond.

Leachate management

All ponded water and leachate plus a minimum of two feet of sediments will be removed from the leachate surface impoundment. The liquids will be treated and disposed of in an approved manner, and the sediment will be disposed of on-site or in an otherwise approved manner. The empty surface impoundment will then be filled with clean soil. A leachate collection and management system will be installed to replace the leachate surface impoundment.

Groundwater treatment

The chosen remedy for groundwater treatment is monitored natural attenuation. Natural attenuation occurs when any of several natural processes takes place in the soil or groundwater to reduce the mass, toxicity, mobility, volume or concentration of contaminants. One example of natural attenuation is when naturally occurring microbes in the soil or groundwater break down contaminants into harmless components. Another example is when contaminants become adsorbed (attached) to soil particles, thus preventing the contaminants from moving into the groundwater. Natural attenuation was chosen for several reasons including:

  • Between 10 to 25 feet of low-permeability soil exists between the base of the landfill and the groundwater. The Illinois EPA believes the presence of this soil is reducing the movement of contaminants from the landfill into the groundwater.
  • Monitoring well sample results support this belief, because only very low concentrations of contaminants are being detected in monitoring well samples.
  • Surface water and sediment samples from the Kishwaukee River show that, although groundwater is flowing toward the river, the surface water and sediments of the river have not been affected by contaminants from the landfill.
  • There are no residential drinking water wells in the path of groundwater flow.
  • The landfill cap and leachate collection system will result in dramatically reduced groundwater contamination.
  • The ROD requires ongoing monitoring to ensure that effective natural attenuation is occurring.

Institutional controls

A restriction will be placed on the landfill and the adjacent soil borrow pit area and will be recorded with the Boone County Recorder of Deeds. This restriction will prohibit the following activities on the landfill and soil borrow pit area: construction of buildings, on-site groundwater use, drilling, excavation and any other soil intrusive activities.

Operation and Maintenance

The ROD requires an Operation and Maintenance Plan that will cover all aspects of the remedial action including the landfill cap, landfill gas monitoring and groundwater monitoring. The plan must be approved by the Illinois EPA.