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U.S. EPA REGION 5
HENNEPIN COUNTY
MINNEAPOLIS

Congressional District # 05

UNION SCRAP IRON & METAL CO.

EPA ID# MND022949192
Last Updated: February, 2012

Site Description

The Union Scrap Iron & Metal Company (Union Scrap) is a 10,000-square foot site that conducted a battery recycling operation at two locations within the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The Schaefer plant at 29 Plymouth Avenue North is located in a predominately commercial area.  Approximately 3,700 people live within a three-block radius of the site.  Approximately 17,100 people live within one mile, and three schools are also located within one mile of the site.  The plant was in operation from the early 1970's to 1983, reclaiming lead components from batteries.  This process involved splitting the battery casing and dumping the sulfuric acid contents into open pits.  Approximately 30,000 tons of these battery fragments were left on the site.  Acid from this process percolated through the soil and entered a storm sewer.  The Washington Avenue site operated for several years during the 1970's, receiving the drained batteries from the Schaefer plant.  The batteries were subsequently crushed, sorted into lead, rubber, and plastic categories, and shipped offsite for recycling.  Piles of lead-contaminated wastes remained onsite for at least 10 years.

Site Responsibility

This site was addressed through Federal and State actions.

Threats and Contaminants

According to the state, airborne lead levels adjacent to the site were significantly high.  The soil and sludge onsite were contaminated with heavy metals including lead, arsenic, cadmium, nickel, and copper as well as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).  There was also a potential for groundwater and surface water contamination. 

Cleanup Progress

In 1985, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) covered the contaminated piles with tarpaulins and weighted them with tires to prevent erosion and air pollution.  A fence was also installed.  In 1987, U.S. EPA removed the battery debris, casings, and contaminated soil from the property and refilled the area with clean fill.  Contaminated materials were also removed from sewer lines, and existing buildings were decontaminated and demolished.  In 1989, a cement pad and the waste beneath it were removed.  U.S. EPA conducted an investigation of the site to determine the nature and the extent of the contamination.  The results of the investigation indicated that no significant contamination remained on the site after the completion of the emergency actions.  U.S. EPA, therefore, determined in 1990, that "No Further Action" would be taken at this site.  The site was deleted from the National Priorities List on September 10, 1991.

Property Reuse

The site has been reused for commercial redevelopment.

Contacts

Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
timothy fischer (fischer.timothy@epa.gov)
(312) 886-5787

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
Don De Blasio
(312) 886-4360

Aliases

UNION SCRAP IRON & METAL CO
UNION SCRAP IRON METAL
UNION SCRAP (WSHGTON STREET)

 

Site Profile Information

This profile provides you with information on EPA's cleanup progress at this Superfund site.

 


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