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Congressional District # 05


EPA ID# MND053417515
Last Updated: August, 2010

Site Description

The Boise Cascade/Onan/Medtronics site covers 183 acres in Fridley, Minnesota. The National Pole and Treating Company and later the Minnesota and Ontario Paper Company treated wood from 1921 until 1961 at this location. Operations at the site first used creosote to treat wood for railroad ties and for utility poles. The company began using pentachlorophenol (PCP) to treat its wood products in 1958 and continued this practice until 1961, when all operations stopped. In 1965, the Minnesota and Ontario Paper Company was purchased and merged into the Boise Cascade Company. The Onan Corporation acquired 133 acres of the Boise Cascade property and Medtronic Corporation purchased the remaining 50 acres. Both of these new owners built commercial and manufacturing facilities on the site. In 1979, Onan and Medtronic uncovered large quantities of creosote from past treatment operations. Approximately 3,000 people lived within one mile of the site. Several residences were located within 500 feet of the site. Two elementary schools and several small urban parks were located within one mile of the site at the time of the investigation. Fridley had a population of about 26,000 in 2006. Groundwater contamination from the site was a major concern because the towns of Fridley and Moundsview use water drawn from municipal wells located near the site. 

Site Responsibility

This site was addressed through federal, state, and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions. 

Threats and Contaminants

The EPA detected high levels of organics, including creosote and phenols, in on-site groundwater monitoring wells, sediments, and soils.  Long-term groundwater monitoring continues through the present.  The monitoring indicates the contaminant plume is decreasing in lateral and vertical extent. There are no known drinking water wells that are impacted by the contaminant plume.

Cleanup Progress

In January 1984, Medtronic entered into a consent decree (CD) with the state to address the contamination on its part of the site. Onan Corporation, Boise Cascade, and two railroad companies went to court concerning site responsibility disputes and a solution to the contamination on the Onan property.  An injunctive order was issued by the court in December 1984.

On the Onan property, the work included:   (1) a slurry wall containment system constructed around the former retort building into which excavated contaminated soil was placed; (2) a cap was constructed over the area surrounded by the slurry wall; (3) dewatering; and (4) treatment of the water prior to discharge.  On the Medtronic property, where two wastewater lagoons had been operated, contaminated soils were excavated and disposed of off-site.  Groundwater that was in contact and directly beneath contaminated soil was collected, treated, and discharged. About 5,000 gallons of oil was collected and disposed of off-site. For both properties, long-term groundwater monitoring was undertaken. Sampling has demonstrated that contaminants have either been removed from the site or confined within the containment vault.  Work was completed in 1986 and the site was deleted from the National Priorities List in early 1995.

The first five-year review report was completed on September 15, 1999.  A second five-year review, prepared by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, was completed in September 2004.  The analysis determined that long-term groundwater monitoring program is effective and shows that the contaminant plume is decreasing, both laterally and vertically.  There were no known drinking water wells that were being impacted by the contaminant plume.  The review concluded that the remedy was functioning as intended and was protective of human health and the environment in the short- and long-term.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
bernard schorle (schorle.bernard@epa.gov)
(312) 886-4746

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




Site Profile Information

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


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