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Lemon Lane Landfill Ecological Risk Assessment

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Focused Ecological Risk Assessment, Lemon Land Landfill, Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana (PDF) (4.0 MB)

Site Background

Lemon Lane Landfill is located on a 10-acre parcel on the northwest side of Bloomington in Monroe County, Indiana (see Figure 1). The landfill was opened as a refuse dump by a private owner in 1933. After 1950, Lemon Lane Landfill was operated by the City of Bloomington as a municipal waste landfill. The Westinghouse Electric Corporation (Westinghouse; later known as CBS Corporation and now known as Viacom) discarded wastes, including electrical capacitors filled with polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-containing oils, at the site between 1957 and 1964. The landfill had no liner or cover, and dumping was not controlled.


Remedial actions have been undertaken at the Lemon Lane Landfill site to reduce the release of PCBs to the environment. However, PCB-impacted groundwater discharging from Lemon Lane Landfill has been released to Clear Creek. The FERA evaluated risk to piscivorous mammals (mink) and birds (kingfisher). Mink have been shown to be sensitive to the effects of PCBs. Both species are potentially highly exposed through the piscivorous diet. As PCBs elicit reproductive effects in both species, and as reproductive success is a critical endpoint for population stability, risks were evaluated based on the likelihood of PCB-exposure to cause adverse reproductive effects in the mink or kingfisher. Fish data from four sampling stations on Clear Creek were used to estimate risks to the mink and kingfisher.

Despite the reductions in potential PCB release from Lemon Lane Landfill due to the remedial action, fish in the upper portion of Clear Creek (i.e., near Station 1 at Allen Street, which is approximately 1.5 miles from the site) are accumulating PCBs at concentrations greater than those shown to cause reproductive effects in the mink or kingfisher. Although decreased from the values estimated for the 2002 data, the Reasonable Maximum Exposure (RME) and Central Tendency Expsoure (CTE) HQs for both the mink and kingfisher at Station 1 were greater than the threshold value of 1. The RME is the statistically-derived maximum level of exposure that excludes extreme levels of contamination which may be considered potential errors (i.e., typically the 95% upper confidence limit of the chemical contaminant distribution is used). The CTE is the level of exposure based on the average level of contamination across the site.

Although excess risks were indicated for piscivorous mammals and birds at Station 1, more attractive habitat (due to a greater level of development in the Station 1 reach) may be available in the downstream reaches. The results indicate that risk is associated with consumption of fish/crayfish for the mink or kingfisher downstream of Station 1 (at distances of 3 miles or greater downstream), indicating the downstream reaches may be impacted by the release of PCB-impacted groundwater from Lemon Lane Landfill.

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