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Congressional District # 05


EPA ID# MND051441731
Last Updated: November, 2011

Site Description

The General Mills/Henkel Corporation site is 10 acres in size and is located at 2010 East Hennepin Avenue in an industrial section of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The property was used by General Mills as a technical center and research laboratory for food and chemical research from 1930 through 1977. Food research was conducted beginning in 1930 and in 1947 chemical research was added.  From 1947 to 1962, approximately 1,000 gallons of solvents were believed to have been disposed in an on-site soil adsorption pit each year.  BBD Holding purchased the property in 1989.  Adjacent land use is light industrial with some residential and commercial properties.  Approximately 5,000 people live within one mile of the site.  Access to the site is restricted.  All residences and businesses in the area are connected to the municipal water system, which obtains its water from the Mississippi River north of the city.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in September 1984.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed by a potentially responsible party under state of Minnesota oversight.  The site is part of EPA's Enforcement Deferral Pilot Agreement with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and MPCA is the primary agency overseeing cleanup at the site.

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater is contaminated with VOCs, including TCE, benzene, chloroform, toluene, and xylenes. Soil was also contaminated with VOCs. People who come into direct contact with or accidentally ingest contaminated groundwater may be at risk; however, exposure is unlikely, as access to the site is restricted while groundwater treatment continues. 

Cleanup Progress

General Mills performed limited soil and groundwater sampling during the 1980s, with oversight by the MPCA.  A consent order between General Mills and the state, including a response action plan, was finalized on October 23, 1984.  The selected remedy consists of groundwater pumping for the purpose of plume control in order to prevent further migration of contaminants in the aquifer.   

General Mills performs ongoing operation, maintenance, and monitoring for the implemented groundwater containment system.  The primary activities include the following:  (1) Periodic operational and equipment inspections and maintenance; (2) Monthly volumetric flow measurements at each containment well; (3) Quarterly sampling of the discharge from the containment wells to the storm sewer per the requirments of a NPDES discharge permit; (4) Sampling and analysis of water samples collected from the containment wells; (5) Annual water level measurements at select monitoring wells; (6) Annual sampling and analysis of groundwater samples from monitoring wells; (7) Routine maintenance of the containment wells and air stripper; and (8) Submittal of annual groundwater monitoring reports to the MPCA.  All construction at the site is complete and was documented in a Preliminary Close Out Report dated June 15, 1992.

U.S. EPA completed the First Five-Year Review Report for the site in September 1994. The second review was prepared by the MPCA on behalf of U.S. EPA and was completed on September 23, 1999.  General Mills performed additional soil assessment near the former absorption pit in 2001 in response to the five year review.  Results indicated that surface soils (zero to four feet) did not present a risk, though deeper soil contamination was present. MPCA also prepared the Third Five-Year Review Report, which was approved by U.S. EPA on September 21, 2004. The 2004 Five Year Review concluded that the groundwater containment remedy is controlling plume migration and that the remedy is functioning as intended to protect protect human health and the environment in the short term.  Long term protectiveness will be ensured once the amended performance standards have been implemented and institutional controls are put in place at the Site.  The institutional controls will consist of a restrictive covenant filed with Hennepin County. 

In August 2010, MPCA approved a one year shut-down of the groundwater control and pump-out system to test whether groundwater cleanup levels could be maintained without pumping.  During this period, groundwater monitoring will continue and MPCA will reassess in six months to make any necessary changes to the monitoring plan.

Because U.S. EPA was not involved with the selection of the remedy at this state-enforcement-lead site, U.S. EPA will no longer be conducting five-year reviews at the site.  MPCA, however, may continue to conduct five-year reviews at the site as it deems necessary.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
leah evison (evison.leah@epa.gov)
(312) 886-2064

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
dave novak
(312) 886-7478




Site Profile Information

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


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