Mid-Continent Ecology Division Laboratory
Total Facility Area: 88,577 gross square feet (GSF)
Estimated Personnel: 145 persons
FY 2003 Energy Consumption*: 34,669,991,964 Btu per year
FY 2003 Btu per GSF per Year: 391,411
FY 2012 Energy Consumption: 28,019,300,800 Btu per year
FY 2012 Btu per GSF per Year: 316,327; 19.2 percent reduction from the baseline
FY 2007 Total Water Consumption**: 964,239 gallons per year
FY 2007 Gallons per GSF per Year: 10.9
FY 2012 Total Water Consumption: 523,636 gallons per year
FY 2012 Gallons per GSF per Year: 5.9; 45.7 percent reduction from the baseline
All energy and water data are reported as of FY 2012.
*FY 2003 is the standard baseline year used by the federal government to measure energy conservation progress.
**FY 2007 is the standard baseline year used by the federal government to measure water conservation progress.
The Mid-continent Ecology Division (MED) Laboratory is a research facility within the Office of Research and Development (ORD). It conducts research to determine the ecological effects of water pollutants on fish, wildlife, and ecosystems. MED also operates the Large Lakes and Rivers Research Station in Grosse Ile, Michigan.
Duluth was selected for the site of the MED research facility because of
the need for water from Lake Superior to conduct its research. The unchanging
quality of the water over the past 30 years is essential to the credibility
of the ecotoxicology research performed. Currently, the facility uses more than 99 million gallons of Lake Superior water annually for research and cooling.
Unique Environmental Features
- In FY 2006, EPA completed designs on a project to replace MED's constant volume air handling units (AHU) with a more energy-efficient variable air volume (VAV) unit, and install more current AHU technology overall. One AHU, covering 10 percent of the laboratory's fume hoods, was replaced in FY 2008, saving approximately 34,000 kilowatt hours per year. Two more AHUs covering an additional 12 fume hoods are slated to be replaced in FY 2013.
- The facility's use of Lake Superior water for "free" and reduced energy cooling is unique among EPA laboratories, and is a significant energy savings contributor.
- MED purchases approximately 24,000 kilowatt hours (kWh), or approximately 1 percent, of its annual electricity consumption in the form of delivered green power. The facility began this practice in March 2002.
- EPA offsets the rest of the electricity consumption at MED with renewable energy certificates (RECs) purchased through the Agency's blanket green power contract. Learn more about EPA's blanket green power contracts.
- In September 2013, EPA completed a revision to its water management plan for MED (PDF) (12 pp, 481K, About PDF).
- Two acres of meadow grasses and other native plants surrounding MED provide a buffer between the site’s impervious surfaces and Lake Superior. As stormwater runs through the meadow, the native landscaping helps filter out pollutants and allow for ground absorption.
For More Information About This Facility
6201 Congdon Boulevard
Duluth, MN 55804
Phone: (218) 529-5000
Fax: (218) 720-5703