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Closed Landfill Program

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Closed Landfill Program (CLP) is a voluntary program established by the Legislature in 1994 to properly close, monitor, and maintain Minnesota's closed municipal sanitary landfills. There are currently 109 closed landfills in the CLP.

Background information

The 1994 Landfill Cleanup Act created Minnesota’s CLP. The CLP is an alternative to Superfund for cleaning up and maintaining closed landfills, and was the first such program in the nation. The CLP is unique because it is the only program that gives the MPCA the responsibility to “manage” up to 112 closed, state-permitted, mixed municipal solid waste landfills to mitigate risks to the public and the environment.

HTML Content Landfill Cleanup Act (115B.39) External Link
An active gas extraction system prevents landfill gas migration at the Oak Grove landfill in Anoka County. Photo: An active gas-extraction system prevents landfill gas migration at the Oak Grove landfill in Anoka County.

The CLP’s goals — to help effectively protect human health, safety and the environment — include managing the risks associated with human exposure to landfill contaminants and methane gas, and mitigating the degradation of groundwater and surface water. The CLP manages risk at these sites by:

  • monitoring environmental impacts and site conditions associated with each landfill;
  • determining the risk each landfill poses to public health, safety and the environment;
  • implementing remedial response actions to help reduce site risks;
  • maintaining the landfill properties, the landfill covers, and operating any remedial systems that are necessary;
  • managing land issues on the land the CLP is responsible for;
  • working with local governments to incorporate land-use controls at and near the landfills to protect human health and safety, as well as the state’s investment involving response actions taken and equipment purchased; and
  • measuring how well the CLP is managing the risk at the landfills.

The CLP manages the risk to public health and safety in a cyclical fashion referred to as the “Risk Management Cycle.” First, site information pertinent to understanding the risks at each landfill (monitoring groundwater, methane gas, nearby land use) is collected and stored in a database.

Second, the CLP evaluates the information, identifies the risks at each site and determines each site’s numerical risk using a risk-scoring model, and identifies the most practical response actions needed to lower the risk.

Third, response actions are implemented based on several factors, including risk-score ranking, available resources (funds, staff), other required site work (operation and maintenance, land surveys, repairs), and other initiatives that are MPCA and program priorities (e.g., renewable energy).

Fourth, the response actions implemented are measured for effectiveness and the monitoring of site conditions is continued.

Funding to do this work comes from the MPCA’s Remediation Fund (solid waste management tax), state general obligation bonds, and past settlements with insurance carriers that provided landfill-related insurance coverage.

Landfills are accepted into the CLP when certain requirements, as stated in a Landfill Cleanup Agreement (typically executed between landfill owners/operators and the state) are met. Once these requirements are fulfilled, a Notice of Compliance is issued to the owner/operator. At this point, the site enters the program and the CLP takes over responsibility for the landfill.

Closed landfill locations

districtmap

Use the interactive Landfill Cleanup Act Participants map to view a closed landfill's groundwater plume, groundwater area of concern, methane area of concern, and monitoring locations. Click on the features to view additional information. Share a zoomed in view of the map on social media. Print a map with a custom title.

CLP ArcGIS Online application thumbnail

Click on the thumbnail image to launch the application.

State-owned CLP landfills and adjacent property

The CLP evaluates landfill data and uses a scoring model to determine risk at each site. Landfills with high risk scores receive a high ranking on the CLP’s Risk Priority List. The CLP will then identify appropriate response actions that will help reduce these risk scores. Response actions can range from constructing new liners and covers to installing gas vents and implementing Closed Landfill Use Plans.

 

Legislative reports

The 1994 Landfill Cleanup Act (MN Stats. 115B.412 subd. 10) requires the MPCA to provide a report to the Legislature on past fiscal-year activities and anticipated future work.

For more information about CLP annual reports to the Minnesota Legislature, contact Shawn Ruotsinoja, Project Leader, 651-757-2683.


Landfill fact sheets

Information about specific closed landfill sites.

Washington County Landfill Reconstruction Project

The Washington County Reconstruction Project began on June 2, 2009. The project is scheduled for completion by October 31, 2012, although it may be done sooner if all goes well. Project status updates and data from testing of ambient air quality and groundwater around the landfill will be posted here periodically. See links below for the data.

Questions about these reports may be directed to the MPCA project team.

  • Pat Hanson, Project Manager, 651-757-2409
  • Peter Tiffany, Project Engineer, 651-757-2784
  • Ingrid Verhagen, Project Hydrogeologist, 651-757-2800
Last modified on March 30, 2015 12:22