The Douglass Road Landfill (DRL) is located just northwest of Mishawaka, Indiana, and occupies approximately 19 acres. The landfill was leased and operated by Uniroyal, Inc. from 1954 to 1979. Between 1954 and 1971 unknown quantities of solvents, fly ash, paper, wood stock, and rubber and plastic scraps were disposed of at the landfill. In addition, more than 6,000 drums totaling approximately 300,000 gallons of liquid considered Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous wastes were emptied into unlined pits at the site. These wastes included methyl ethyl ketone, acetone, tetrahydrofuran, toluene, and several other toxic chemicals. In 1971, the Indiana State Board of Health ordered the site closed because of groundwater contamination. Between 1971 and the final closure, landfilling of fly ash from the facility boiler operation was approved of by the State of Indiana. In December 1979 the landfill was permanently closed. Several years later, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted a "Potential Hazardous Waste Site" inspection. Preliminary findings indicated that the primary pathway of migration for contaminants was via soil leaching and infiltration into groundwater supplies, which ultimately discharged to Juday Creek. The site was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in March 1989. Finally, in 1994, a Remedial Investigation (RI) was conducted at the DRL by CH2M HILL for the EPA.
The RI revealed a groundwater contamination plume that extended over 3000 feet southwest of the site. Contaminants detected in the groundwater at and near the site included volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), and inorganics. In addition, VOCs, SVOCs, inorganics, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides, and dioxins were found in soil samples at the site.