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EPA removes 19th Avenue Landfill from Superfund list

Release Date: 09/25/2006
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez, 415/947-4248,

(San Francisco, Calif. -- 06/25/2006) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today deleted the 19th Avenue Landfill Site in Phoenix, Ariz. from the National Priorities List of Superfund hazardous waste sites.

The EPA and the state of Arizona determined that no further cleanup activities are necessary to protect human health and the environment. Further cleanup measures, other than on-going maintenance and reviews, are no longer necessary.

“Removing a site from the Superfund list is a significant achievement and demonstrates how the Superfund program achieves results,” said Keith Takata, Superfund division director for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “The city has done an excellent job to ensure that this former landfill property no longer poses an environmental or public health threat.”

The site, located by the Salt River, is a closed landfill owned by the city of Phoenix. In 1946, the landfill opened to accept municipal wastes, as well as hazardous and industrial wastes that may have included pesticides, solvents, and medical wastes.

The city operated the landfill from 1964 until 1979 when the Arizona Department of Health closed the landfill after several floods from the Salt River intermittently covered the landfill with water. In May 1978, flood water washed out refuse from portions of the landfill. The landfill was added to the NPL in 1983.

The clean up actions for the site included:
building levees placed along both north and south banks of the Salt River at the landfill site to provide for flood protection;
widening the river to a constant width of 600 feet near the landfill to withstand a 100-year flood;
placing a soil cap and a vegetative /erosion layer to prevent rain water from getting into the landfill;
building landfill gas collection and treatment systems;
monitoring landfill gas, ambient air, and groundwater; and
developing a contingency plan to address potential groundwater impacts.

The city of Phoenix will continue to maintain the drainage and levee system, monitor groundwater and landfill gas, and conduct routine operations and maintenance. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality will continue to oversee activities at the site and conduct a formal review every five years to ensure the protectiveness of the cleanup.

The EPA also removed the Luke Air Force Base from the NPL in April 2002. Currently, there are eight Arizona sites that remain on the NPL.

The EPA designates sites that may present a significant risk to public health or the environment as Superfund sites, qualifying them for federal cleanup funds. For more information on the EPA's Superfund program, please visit: