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Columbus Old Municipal Landfill No. 1 Superfund Site

Site Information

Map of the site

  • Columbus, Indiana (Bartholomew County)
Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Janet Pope (pope.janet@epa.gov)
312-353-0628 or 800-621-8431, ext.30628

Remedial Project Manager
James J. Hahnenberg 

Additional contact(s)
Gladys Beard
NPL State Deletion Process Manager


(where to view written records)

Bartholomew County Public Library
536 Fifth St.



The City of Columbus operated the approximately 19-acre Columbus Old Municipal Landfill #1 facility without a permit from 1938 until 1966. The landfill reportedly accepted municipal and industrial wastes, including solvents, acids, bases, paints, and heavy metals. Wastes were deposited on the surface of the landfill.   The closest residence to the site is located less than one-half mile away. Columbus has a population of about 39,000. During site investigations, private wells were found within one-half mile of the site and public wells for water supply were found within three miles.  The landfill reportedly accepted municipal and industrial wastes, including solvents, acids, bases, paints and heavy metals, all of which were deposited within this unlined landfill. During the remedial investigation (RI), a number of inorganic and organic constituents were detected in groundwater, surface water, and soils surrounding the landfill. However, risks posed to human health and the environment by the constituents of concern, at the levels found, were minimal. 

EPA proposed the site for inclusion on the NPL in September 1985 and finalized the listing of the site in June 1986. In 1987, a Consent Order was signed by EPA, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), and three PRPs. Under the agreement, the PRPs performed a Remedial Investigation (RI) to determine the nature and extent of the contamination at the landfill. Based on the results of the investigation, which showed that there was minimal risk to human health and the environment, EPA concluded that no further action, except for the installation of two additional monitoring wells and periodic monitoring of groundwater, was needed at the site. However, EPA also concluded that some action would be needed if the road leading to a new bridge over the river, which was contemplated to be built across the landfill, was built. 

You will need the free Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

Site Updates

EPA completed five-year reviews for the site in September 2000, September 2005, May 2010, and May 2015. The fourth five-year review showed that the selected remedy was functioning as anticipated. It concluded that the remedy was protective of human health and the environment in the short-term, and is protective in the long-term now that all required ICs have been implemented.

Fourth Five-year Review (PDF) (62p, 2.1 MB) May 2015

The site achieved the Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use designation in September 2012. EPA subsequently deleted the site from the NPL in January 2014. Even though the site has been deleted from the NPL, operation and maintenance of the remedy at the site will continue, and five-year reviews will continue to be required. The next five-year review is due by May 2020.

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