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Waste Site Cleanup & Reuse in New England
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 Site Type: Long Term/National Priorities List (NPL) Click to see more about Site Type and how it is used?


Map this site in Cleanups in My Community
 South Kingstown,  Rhode Island
 Washington County
 Street Address: ROSE HILL RD
 Zip Code: 02880

 EPA ID #: RID980521025
 Site ID #: 0101279
 Site Aliases:

 Site Responsibility: Federal, State, Potentially Responsible Parties

 Proposed Date 06/24/1988
 Final Date 10/04/1989

Site Description
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The Rose Hill Regional Landfill Site is a former municipal landfill located in the Town of South Kingstown. The town leased the land as a domestic and industrial waste disposal facility, which operated from 1967 to 1983. In 1983, the facility became inactive, and the operator graded and seeded the disposal areas. A transfer station for municipal waste, currently owned and operated by the town, is located on a portion of the site. Three separate areas on and/or near the site received waste including a solid waste landfill, a bulky waste disposal area, and a sewage sludge landfill. Current owner-operated activities within the site's boundary include a hunting preserve, skeet and qualifying range, kennel and field training area for bird dogs, and a pet cemetery. An estimated 17,300 people obtain water from wells located within 3 miles of the site. The area is both rural and residential, with forested areas, fields, small farms and sand/gravel mining activities nearby. The site is bordered by the Saugatucket River to the east, while Mitchell Brook flows through the site.

Threats and Contaminants
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On-site groundwater monitoring wells contain several volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including 1,1-dichloroethane, chloroethane, vinyl chloride, benzene, and xylenes, as well as some heavy metals. Visual observations indicate that Mitchell Brook, an unnamed brook, and the Saugatucket River are impacted by contaminated run-off from the site. Early investigations determined that landfill gases are migrating laterally off-site in the vicinity of some residential properties. Three private wells adjacent to the site are contaminated with low levels of organic compounds, as are on-site soils. The site is not completely fenced, making it possible for people to come into direct contact with the landfill materials on-site. The Saugatucket Pond, located 2,000 feet downstream from the site, is used for fishing and swimming. A freshwater wetland is also located 500 feet downstream of the site, and could be subject to contamination.

Cleanup Approach
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The site is being addressed in two stages: initial actions and two long-term remedial phases focusing on cleanup of the entire site.

Response Action Status
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Initial Action In 1985, the Utilities Department within the Town of South Kingstown extended the municipal water line to residences on Rose Hill Road that were found to have contaminated wells. EPA investigations during the winter and spring of 1993 indicated gas migration from the landfill to nearby residences. In response to this information, the Town of South Kingstown installed gas alarms in the residences and relocated one residence.

Entire Site EPA began an investigation into the nature and extent of contamination in the three separate disposal areas in 1990. The scope of the investigation included sampling of groundwater, surface water, soils, and sediments. Expanded studies included an ecological impact assessment, a landfill gas migration evaluation, and a revised assessment of alternatives that included the feasibility of using several innovative cleanup technologies. EPA evaluated several cleanup alternatives through 1999, and following a public comment period, selected a final cleanup remedy for the site in December 1999.

Source Control The selected remedy is the first operable unit of a phased approach to remediate the environmental contamination caused by the site. This first operable unit is a source control remedy which is intended to prevent or minimize the continued release of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants to the environment. This first operable unit will control the sources of contamination at the site by limiting percolation and infiltration from precipitation through the waste materials thereby controlling an otherwise continuing release of hazardous substances into the air and ground water.
The first operable unit remedy consists of the following components: (1) consolidate the Bulky Waste Area (BWA) landfill onto the Solid Waste Area (SWA) landfill; (2) collect and manage leachate and waters collected from run-off and de-watering operations during the excavation and consolidation of the BWA; (3) apply a protective cover (hazardous waste cap) to the SWA landfill; (4) assess, collect and treat landfill gases (LFG) via an enclosed flare; (5) inspect and monitor the integrity and performance of the cap over time; (6) monitor groundwater, surface water, leachate emergence, and landfill gas emissions over the duration of the remedial action; (7) implement deed restrictions (in the form of easements and covenants) on groundwater and land use to prevent access onto portions of the site where remediation activities warrant this restriction; (8) provide data to assess the need for taking any further response actions after the cap is in place and functional; (9) perform appropriate operation and maintenance of the remedy; and (10) plan for and conduct statutory five-year reviews to ensure protectiveness. Site monitoring will furnish data to assess the effectiveness of the source control remedy and assist the State with TMDL predictions for site-related contaminant concentrations affecting local water bodies.

The Sewage Sludge Area (SSA) meets minimal State requirements for sewage sludge landfill closure, and poses no significant direct contact health threat as currently closed. However, the composted sludge in the SSA holds potential for use as a vegetative support layer for the SWA. This solution could allow for modest project cost efficiencies while it is also anticipated that the work will also help to gain some further environmental and local water quality improvements over time.

Management of Migration Potential for future management of the migration of contaminants to surface and ground water will be based on data obtained from the first operable unit monitoring, and any additional studies that are deemed necessary in order to further assess site impacts, characterize the extent of any contamination, and assess the need to develop and evaluate alternatives for future actions (should it be found necessary to do so).

Further Landfill Gas Assessment and Control A decision was made during the remedial design phase of the project (based on data and a site-specific air risk assessment performed by EPA) to build the LFG collection system such that it could be operated in either a passive (venting) or active (combustion-flare) mode. This alternative LFG collection system design was then constructed in compliance with state and federal regulations (see PCOR and ESD below). The LFG system operated for more then a year (2007-2008) by passively venting emissions through a series of vertical ventilation ports. A robust monitoring plan and sampling infrastructure was also put in place to assure protectiveness.

Post-closure monitoring of gas probes through 2009 indicated the presence of methane in concentrations above the LEL on the west side of the landfill and particularly along Rose Hill Road. A landfill gas flare pilot study was designed in 2009 to determine if active gas collection would lower the off-site methane concentration levels. An engineering decision was later made to install an active landfill gas destruction system using a skid mounted gas blower with an attached gas flare. Since the initial gas flare start up in February 2010, preliminary indications are that the gas flare operation is able to reduce the off-site methane concentrations well below the LEL. It has also been observed that the quantity of landfill gas being delivered to the gas flare has been slowly trending downward since the start up. The landfill gas flare pilot study remains on-going and any future decisions to remove the gas flare or establish it permanently will be made by RIDEM, in consultation with EPA.

Enforcement HighlightsAfter approximately two years of negotiation, a successful settlement was entered in District Court in March 2003. The settlement requires the municipalities (South Kingstown and Narragansett, RI) to pay $4,000,000, plus interest from March 31, 2002, to a Superfund special account in settlement of past costs incurred by the United States and future costs by the United States relating to the Operable Unit 1 ("OU1") source control remedy. The Consent Decree also provides that the State will implement the OU1 remedy and be responsible for 50% of the cost of construction and 100% of the cost of operation and maintenance of the remedy. Under the Consent Decree, the Towns are to eventually reimburse the State for 30% of the State’s OU1 remedy costs through a combination of cash payments and in-kind services. The Consent Decree also resolves the Towns’ liability to the United States for natural resource damages relating to the Rose Hill Landfill site. The Towns will also repair or replace the Indian Run Reservoir Dam and the Asa Pond Dam, both in the Town of South Kingstown, R.I.,in settlement of the State’s claims for natural resource damages.

Environmental Progress
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The Town of South Kingstown has provided a safe drinking water supply to residents who could potentially be affected by contaminants migrating from the site. EPA and the State have investigated landfill gas migration from the site to nearby residences and the Town of South Kingstown has taken action to control the threat to the public. The State and EPA will continue to assess conditions at the Rose Hill Regional Landfill site throughout the Operation and Maintenance phase of the remedy.

Current Site Status
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EPA issued a preliminary close-out report (PCOR) and Final Remedial Action Reports for Phases 1 and 2 construction in September 2008. These reports detail the completion of all remedial actions pertaining to the consolidation and capping of the Site in accordance with the 1999 Record of Decision and with the remedial design plans and specifications.

While it was agreed that the Source Control remedy appeared to be functioning as designed, EPA and RIDEM remained concerned with the potential for landfill gas migration to occur off-site. Landfill gas monitoring increased and, in April 2009, RIDEM found evidence of gas migration in the western portion of the Site and along Rose Hill Road. As part of an effort to address these landfill gas concerns, RIDEM prepared the Landfill Gas Management Report (June 2009) to identify potential means of reducing methane concentrations being detected off-site. The Agencies determined, with concurrence from the Towns, that the best approach would be to switch over the passive gas mitigation system and install an active landfill gas destruction option, using a skid mounted gas blower system with an attached gas flare. Implementation of the active gas collection pilot study began in September 2009 with completion of the flare construction in early February 2010. Operation of the flare was initiated on February 10, 2010. Implementation of the landfill gas pilot study has demonstrated that the active gas collection system can essentially eliminate the westward migration of landfill gas off-site. RIDEM and the Town continue to operate and periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the active landfill gas system over time. The site is currently in the Operation and Maintenance phase of the project.

In July 2009, EPA issued a press release in the Narragansett Times announcing the start of the First Five Year Review (FYR) for the site. As part of this review process a site inspection was held on March 29, 2010. A final report concerning same was issued on August 25, 2010. (see: First Five Year Review Report under Reports and Studies below).

As a statutory requirement of the cleanup, the site must undergo a formal review at least every five years. During 2015, RIDEM will formally conduct the Second Five Year Review for the Rose Hill site with EPA oversight. The community was notified of this process, a Site inspection was conducted in the Spring of 2015, and a FYR report of these findings will be published by August 2015.

Site Photos
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Click photo for more photos. http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/rosehill/photos.html

SDMS 454304
Site Entrance onto Rose Hill Road

Links to Other Site Information
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Disclaimer Instructions about PDF
Maps and Photos:
Photo slide show  

Newsletters & Press Releases:
Press Releases about this project  
RI DEM Press Release Regarding Public Meeting to Present Landfill Cap Design, May 10, 2004 (277.92 KB)  
RI DEM Press Release Regarding Start of Construction Activities, May 13, 2005 (279.56 KB)  
Site Reuse Profile, July 2005 (377KB)  
RI DEM Press Release Regarding Start of Construction Activities, October 19, 2006 (278.86 KB)  
RI DEM Press Release Regarding Completion of Landfill Cap Construction Activities, November 6, 2007 (212.44 KB)  
NOAA Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA) Out for Public Review and Comment, October 2011  

Federal Register Notices:
Final NPL Listing  

Administrative Records:
Administrative Record Index, OU 01 Record of Decision (ROD), January 28, 1999 (658 KB)  
Administrative Record Index, OU 01 Record of Decision (ROD) Addendum, December 20, 1999 (406 KB)  
Administrative Record Index, Explanation of Significant Differences, September 30, 2008 (1.10 MB)  

Reports and Studies:
Remedial Investigation (RI) Final Report, May 1994 (53.7 MB)  
Feasibility Study (FS) Final Report, November 1998 (54.0 MB)  
Beneficial Reuse Study, November 2003 (1,468KB)  
Case Study Demonstrating US EPA Guidance for Evaluating Landfill Gas Emissions, October 01, 2005 (23.4MB)  
Preliminary Closeout Report (PCOR), September 26, 2008 (2.24 MB)  
Annual Monitoring Report - Year 1, September 1, 2009 (14.0 MB)  
First Five Year Review Report, August 25, 2010 (Opening file is 14.2 MB with links to another PDF file)  
Annual Monitoring Report - Year 3, May 1, 2011 (12.4 MB)  
Annual Monitoring Report - Year 4, August 1, 2012 (6.2 MB)  
Annual Monitoring Report - Year 5, March 1, 2013 (14.3 MB)  
Annual Monitoring Report - Year 6, March 1, 2014 (8.63 MB)  
Second Five Year Review Report, September 16, 2015  

Decision Documents:
View Records of Decision (RODS) on-line (EPA HQ)  
Record of Decision, December 20, 1999 (1,965KB)  
Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD), September 19, 2008 (1.28MB)  
Institutional Controls at this Site  

Settlement Documents:
Consent Decree Package, December 19, 2002 (Opening file is 22.2 MB with a link to another PDF file)  

Other Links:
NPL Site Narrative at Listing:  
Site Progress Profile  
Restoring and Protecting New England's 'Special Places' - South County Watershed  

Site Repositories
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South Kingstown Public Library, 1057 Kingstown Road, Peace Dale, RI 02883

OSRR Records and Information Center, 1st Floor, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 (HSC), Boston, MA 02109-3912 (617) 918-1440

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EPA Remedial Project Manager: David J. Newton
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code OSRR07-1
Phone #: (617) 918-1243
E-Mail Address: newton.dave@epa.gov

EPA Community Involvement Coordinator: Sarah White
Address: US Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code ORA20-1
Phone #: (617) 918-1026
E-Mail Address: white.sarah@epa.gov

State Agency Contact: Gary Jablonski
Address: RIDEM - OWM
235 Promenade St.
Providence, RI 02908
Phone #: (401) 222-4700 x7148
E-Mail Address: gary.jablonski@dem.ri.gov

EPA Site Attorney Sarah Meeks
Address: 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
Mail Code OES04-3
Phone #: 617-918-1438
E-Mail Address: meeks.sarah@epa.gov


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Last updated on Wednesday, November 4th, 2015
URL: http://www.epa.gov/region1/superfund/sites/rosehill