MPCA finds no impact on groundwater, increased greenhouse gas emissions in proposed Burnsville Sanitary Landfill expansion

Contact: Matt Croaston, 651-757-2690

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) today released its environmental review findings for the proposed expansion of the Burnsville Sanitary Landfill. In its final supplemental environmental impact statement (FSEIS) analysis, the MPCA determined the expansion would not affect groundwater quality.

In addition to assessing possible impacts to groundwater quality, the agency found the expansion is expected to produce new greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 86,542 tons per year of carbon dioxide (CO2), or the amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated from approximately 18,800 passenger vehicles each year. This number accounts for mitigation efforts Waste Management will deploy to the address the increase in GHG emissions.

The proposed landfill expansion would increase its capacity by approximately 23.6 million cubic yards and extend its life to 2062. This will help accommodate an increasing amount of trash being sent to Twin Cities landfills each year. In addition, the proposed landfill expansion:

  • Modifies and shrinks the current waste disposal footprint from 216 to 204 acres
  • Increases the peak height of the landfill by 262 feet

The environmental review process is a data gathering and analysis process and does not represent an approval or disapproval of the project. Once the environmental review process is complete, the MPCA will begin the permitting phase of the expansion project. The MPCA will evaluate emerging contaminants, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and 1,4-dioxane, during the permitting process. A final decision on the landfill expansion will occur during the permitting phase of a project.

The FSEIS for the Burnsville Sanitary Landfill expansion project outlines potential impacts on groundwater, surface water, liner and leachate collection, visual impacts, air quality, and sociological impacts. The FSEIS evaluates and assesses the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project.

Members of the public are invited to comment on the “adequacy” of the FSEIS document. Specifically, the FSEIS will be determined to be adequate if it:

  1. Addresses the potentially significant issues and alternatives raised in scoping;
  2. Provides responses to the public comments received on the DSEIS; and
  3. Was prepared in compliance with state environmental review rules.

Comments should be sure to include ways in which the FSEIS did or did not satisfy the above three criteria. Those wishing to do so may submit written comments to Steve Sommer, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155 or by email: steve.sommer@state.mn.us. All comments must be received by 4:30 p.m. on December 28, 2021. The MPCA Commissioner will consider all timely, substantive comments received prior to making a final determination of adequacy on the BSL FSEIS.

Visit the MPCA’s BSL expansion webpage to review the environmental review findings.