Farmland Industries Fertilizer Plant

Site Background

The former Farmland Industries Nitrogen Plant located at 1608 North 1400 Road, Lawrence, Kansas, began operations in 1954 and produced a variety of fertilizer products. In 1993 Farmland Industries began addressing numerous environmental issues at the facility through a Consent Order issued by KDHE, including the operation of a long-term groundwater recovery system. In 2002 Farmland filed for bankruptcy, and a bankruptcy trust was formed to address the many environmental issues left behind.

In November 2009 KDHE and EPA published a plan for selecting a preferred remedial alternative for management and cleanup of contaminated soil and groundwater at the Farmland site, and requested public comment. The primary contaminants of concern are nitrate and ammonia. These contaminants are elevated in groundwater, soil, sediments, and surface and storm water.

KDHE and EPA held a public meeting to discuss the preferred remedial actions outlined in the Remedial Action Plan and to solicit public participation on Monday, November 9, 2009, at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, Lawrence, Kansas.

In 2010 the City of Lawrence acquired the 467-acre property and pursued negotiations with the KDHE and EPA for clean-up. The Consent Order was implemented on September 29, 2010, marking the beginning of demolition, restoration, and improvement. The City finalized the Transition Plan in June 2011. It provides detailed information on the project team and their roles and responsibilities for implementing the Remedial Action Plan and a Soil-Waste Management Plan. These plans will be followed as the site is redeveloped.

The City of Lawrence continues to operate and maintain parts of the active remediation systems, which include groundwater recovery wells and sumps; however, the groundwater interceptor trenches have been temporarily shut down to reduce the amount of water generated by the site due to issues with the onsite storage tanks and a reduced demand for fertilizer-enriched water. Currently all groundwater being produced is discharged to the drainage ditch via the NPDES Permit. The ponds are currently not receiving water from the remediation system, but they continue to fill due to precipitation.

The City of Lawrence recently completed a Data Gap Study to determine an optimization strategy for the current hydraulic containment system and to gather data to develop new remedial alternatives. A Cost Benefit Analysis proposing remedial alternatives is currently under review by KDHE.

Additional Information

For additional information, please contact:

Brian Willard, KDHE-BER Project Manager
Phone: 785-296-3866

Portions of these reports may have been removed in order to make them web-ready. Complete copies are available by contacting the KDHE-BER Project Manager.

Site Documents