The Munisport landfill contains approximately 6.2 million cubic yards of municipal waste, and was in operation for 7 years..
Munisport was found to contain contaminants, and a "small amount" of hospital biohazard waste was found on the site and drums of toxic chemicals during its operation. Audubon Society compiled a list of chemicals Munisport employees admitted had been buried in the dump. EPA officials never detected dangerous levels of those in the landfill and concentrated their efforts on the mangrove preserve south of the site, where the chief concern was the seepage of ammonia, created naturally as organic debris decomposes.
The 1992 Consent Decree between the City of North Miami and the United States redefined and shrunk the National Priorities List boundaries of the site to a 30 acre site is in wetlands to the east, away from the actual dump .
Location: North Miami, Florida Congressional District: 22
|1970||City of North Miami purchased parcel of land on Biscayne Bay for $12 million in bonds.|
|1972||City of North Miami leased of this land to Munisport, Inc. for development of a golf course|
|1974||Munisport, Inc began operating a landfill to fill in low-lying areas of site. Materials dumped included hospital biohazard waste as well as drums of toxic chemicals.|
|1976||Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management(DERM) finds twelve 55-gallon drums (labeled as containing tricresyl phosphate, ethyl cyanoacetate, and acetone) leaking onto the ground surface in the eastern portion of the dump. The drums were later removed by a contractor of the City of North Miami.|
|1977||County cites dump for leaking drums, medical waste, odor.|
|1980||Munisport stopped landfill operations|
|1981||Florida Department of Environmental Regulation (DER) revoked Munisport, Inc. operating permit|
|1983||(EPA) added Munisport Landfill to the (NPL).|
|1985||EPA conducted a remedial investigation and found that leachate from this landfill (primarily ammonia) threatens the environmental health of Biscayne Bay|
|1989||Dade County Public Health Unit personnel discovered and removed a small pile of hospital waste, including human biopsies, from the landfill|
|1992||In the first step to delist Munisport without the expense of a cleanup, a Consent Decree between the property owner, the City of North Miami (principal responsible party [PRP]), and the United States redefined and shrunk the National Priorities List boundaries of Muninsport to exclude the actual dump. Re-defined by the PRP, the new 30 acre Superfund site is in wetlands to the east, away from the dump.|
|1993||In Federal cost-recovery litigation, the PRP proved that drums and significant quantities of hazardous substances are buried in the dump. Despite this, ATSDR-recommended soil testing is rejected, as this would interfere with proposals to build an ampitheter at the Munisport site.|
|1994||A Public Health Assessment concluded that the dump is of "Indeterminate Health Hazard." Completed exposure pathways include air, contaminated soil, contaminated surface water, and ingestion of fish and oysters from Biscayne Bay. Among contaminants of concern are arsenic, ammonia, benzene, barium, cadmium, carbon disulfide, chromium, chlordane, dieldrin, lead, manganese, PCBs, strontium, and styrene.|
|1996||The EPA conducted what many consider inadequate samples testing designed to minimize the toxicity results and pave the way for delisting the Munisport site to make way for future development for residential and/or recreational uses. Despite protests from those who had examined who had examined the Munisport site and the original scientific findings, including respected scientists, marine biologists, local citizens, and environmental groups, the EPA used these pretextual test results to remove Munisport from the Superfund list.|
|2005||Boca Developers, a development group partnering with Michael Swerdlow, begins construction of "Biscayne Landing", a $1 billion, 5,000-unit condo project.|
|2007||First two condo towers open.|
There are 4 areas: a landfill, 15 acres of uplands, 93 acres of altered wetlands, and 13 acres adjacent to Biscayne Bay that are separated from the rest of the site by the State of Florida mangrove preserve
The remainder of Munisport site beyond the landfill area unfortunately lies below the mean high water line, further increasing risk. Both inside and outside a dike constructed along the southeastern edge of the property are mangrove swamps. Biscayne Aquifer lies below the ground surface. The flow of regional groundwater is southeastward, towards Biscayne Bay, but varies locally due to mounding.
When the Environmental Protection Agency originally released their evaluation and report on the Munisport superfund site, it clearly stated that the land should never be developed and that an impermeable "cap" should be placed on the area so that toxic chemicals could not potentially leak into the air, water and soil, as the impact on human and aquatic health were unknown.
The original EPA evaluation of the site stated that the onsite samples originally tested contained di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, dieldrin, pentachlorophenol, and PCBs. Other samples contained lead, cadmium and ammonia. The ASTDR Public Health report stated:
Because the number of soil/fill samples is limited, we cannot determine the extent of contamination in the landfill portion of the site. Cover soil sampling on the landfill portion of the site (10 cover soil samples from
The report stated that the dumping of 2,600 pounds of styrene in 1989, and 12,000 pounds in 198, occurred by just one boatyard. Governmental regulatory agencies at that time indicated that the extent of contaminants on the entire property remained unknown. The report indicated that it was necessary to go down more than two feet below ground (soil had only been tested superficially at one inch deep) to know what was really brewing beneath the surface. There is no evidence that this was ever done.
The Public Health Assessment concluded: "Inhalation of contaminated dust is a past and future air exposure pathway. Contaminated soils and fill material are sources of contaminated dust."
The Western portion of Munisport Dump was backfilled with solid waste consisting, among other things, of solid waste consisting of trash and municipal garbage. Among the non-permitted dumping discovered and documented were 12 drums containing tricresyl phosphate, ethylcyanoacetate, and acetate. "Small amounts" of hospital waste was found on the site.
The contamination in soil, sediments, surface water, and ground water sampled and documented include
- Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate
- carbon disulfide
- coliform bacteria
- methylene chloride
- polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
Resident Exposure to ContaminationIn the early 1990s Highland Park residents expressed concerns that contaminated soil and water at Munisport has exposed adjacent Higland Village mobile home park, population est. 1,500, by stormwater run-off and contaminated airborne pollution (by dust). In addition, Highland Park residents expressed concerns that children have been directly exposed when trespassing on the site. There was a 1990 landfill fire that residents believe could have caused additional toxic exposure, although air sampling was not done in time.
Documented Complaints from Adjacent Highland VillageThe following are documented complaints from Highland Village Residents after dumping began at Munisport Landfill.
- rashes, respiratory illnesses, and infections suffered in the 1970s and 1980's, caused by exposure to dust from landfill.
- toxic smoke from the March/April 1990 landfill fire aggravated existing respiratory conditions
- increased rates of eye irritation and infection from swimming at the Oleta State Recreation Area and in the lagoon adjacent to Florida International University.
- children developed serious skin infections after being cut or scratched.
- inordinately high number of cancers in their neighborhood after dumping began
- Engineering firm not legally responsible for pollution
- condo tries to bury its past life as a dump
- Off the hazwaste hook - history of Munisport problems
- Center for Public Integrity - Munisport Landfill Information
- Unusual Cleanup Plan For Miami's Munisport Landfill Remains Controversial (Solid Waste Digest: Southern Edition, September, 1995)
- EPA Superfund (CERCLIS) records for Munisport site