Read the full article by Ron Fonger

“RICHFIELD TWP., MI — PFAS contamination has been found in groundwater and leachate at and near a shuttered landfill near Holloway Reservoir, and the state says arrangements are being made to sample several nearby home water wells as a precaution.

Richfield Landfill has been added to a state listing of confirmed PFAS sites after testing of two groundwater and one leachate samples showed contamination up to 25 times the state action level for drinking water.

PFAS are a group of manmade chemicals that have been used in a variety of products to make them resistant to heat, oil, stains, grease and water since the 1940s, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Two other locations in Genesee County were previously identified as know sites of PFAS — the Coldwater Road Landfill and Gilkey Creek…

The sample with the highest level of PFAS from Richfield came from leachate — the liquid that drains — or leaches — from a landfill…

In 2014, a potential buyer for the nearly 300-acre property emerged and announced a proposal to mine the property for recyclables, but the deal never materialized.

Genesee County Commissioner David Martin said many questions and unresolved problems still surround the landfill…

‘Something has to be done,’ he said. ‘PFAS is a big issue, and Richfield is going to get the same attention’ as other contaminated sites in the state.

The DEQ report says groundwater samples near the landfill were taken to evaluate ‘site related PFAS impacts.’

While one groundwater sample nearest to the landfill exceeded state action level of 70 parts per trillion, the second sample was less than that threshold, the DEQ fact sheet says.

The first groundwater sample registered 201 ppt, nearly three times the state action level for drinking water, while the leachate sample was 1,860 ppt.

Located off East Mt. Morris Road, north of Holloway Reservoir, the landfill was first licensed to operate in 1966.

It became an unsold asset of Richfield Equities and related companies that filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2012.

At the time of the closing, the landfill was operating under the terms of a corrective action plan with the state, according to Flint Journal files. The DEQ issued a notice of violations before the property stopped accepting waste, claiming the dump was poorly managed, that records were disorganized or missing and that contaminated wastewater was poorly managed on the site.

Local officials have previously been concerned because an original cell on the property was never lined and because of the property’s close proximity to Holloway Reservoir, a part of the Flint River.

The DEQ says landfill cells on the property are believed to be structurally sound but require leachate removal and other maintenance.

‘Historical groundwater monitoring indicated indicates that this portion of the landfill caused a groundwater impact in the shallow aquifer (that) flows south toward, and discharges into, the Holloway Reservoir (Flint River),’ the state fact sheet says.

Downstream testing of the Flint River showed rising levels of PFAS contamination before it was used as the city of Flint’s water source four years ago.”