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News release

July 21, 2022

Proposed permit for Burnsville Sanitary Landfill expansion

Aerial view of the Burnsville Sanitary Landfill

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) today released its draft solid waste permit for Waste Management’s Burnsville Sanitary Landfill. The permit would allow for an expansion of the landfill’s disposal capacity and regulate waste disposal activities for the next 10 years.

More than 80 percent of the solid waste entering the Burnsville Sanitary Landfill comes from Hennepin and Dakota County. Solid waste forecasts expect that the need for landfill disposal will continue to increase, and the need for this expansion project was identified during the MPCA’s Certificate of Need process.

The issuance of the draft permit follows the completion of a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS). The SEIS evaluated the full potential expansion of the landfill, which is estimated to provide an additional 40 years of waste disposal capacity. In total, the proposed expansion project would increase the landfill’s disposal capacity by an estimated 23.6 million cubic yards and increase the total height by 262 feet.

This draft permit would only allow for a portion of that expansion and would grant approximately 13 million cubic yards of additional waste disposal capacity, which would increase the landfill height by 92 feet. The draft permit also addresses several key environmental risks identified by the SEIS, including:

  • Sampling for 1,4-dioxane and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS);
  • Updated contingency action plan and corresponding financial assurance amounts to address potential future negative impacts;
  • Special permit conditions that require additional analyses to investigate future scenarios where the neighboring Kraemer Quarry stops pumping groundwater;
  • Restrictions on filling over new historical unlined waste disposal areas until these analyses are completed and approved by the MPCA, and;
  • Monitoring of PFAS through MPCA’s PFAS monitoring plan.

In addition, the permit requires features that will help the landfill prepare for Minnesota’s changing climate:

  • A proposed flood control berm that is six inches below the 500-year flood elevation for the Minnesota River. The berm will be constructed to an elevation of 722 ft, which is more than two feet above the highest recorded flood elevation (719.4 ft in 1965).
  • A stormwater management system designed for a 100-year rainfall event (7.44 inches). Current rules only require plans for a 25-year rainfall event (5.32 inches).

The MPCA is holding an extended 45-day comment period to give the public more time to review and comment on the proposed permit. The public can review the draft permit and submit public comments by visiting or by mail to:

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
c/o Cliff Shierk
520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

The MPCA will be hosting an in-person public information meeting on Wednesday, August 10 at 5:30 PM at Burnsville City Hall. The initial portion of the meeting will be an open house where representatives from the MPCA, City of Burnsville, Dakota County, and Waste Management will be available to discuss the proposed expansion and answer questions. That will be followed by a presentation with an additional opportunity for Q&A.

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