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Congressional District # 05


EPA ID# MND059680165
Last Updated: November, 2014

Site Description

The 7-acre Kurt Manufacturing site is located in Fridley, Anoka County, Minnesota, approximately one mile east of the Mississippi River and approximately six miles north of the City of Minneapolis. Kurt has been a precision machining and metal fabrication manufacturer since 1959. As part of its operations, cutting oils and chlorinated solvents (volatile organic compounds or VOCs) were used. One of the main VOCs used at the site was tetrachloroethylene (PCE). Until 1982, metal cuttings contaminated with cutting oils and solvents, including PCE, were placed in storage bins located outside the plant's loading dock area for pickup and recycling. A "sump," consisting of a low area in the ground to collect runoff, was located at the base of the metal cuttings storage bin. VOCs are believed to have entered the soil and groundwater at the site from this sump. In addition, in the mid- to late-1970s, a hose connecting a PCE delivery truck and a metal degreasing machine ruptured, and an estimated 10-30 gallons of PCE spilled onto the center of the metal finish bay floor, which had floor grates leading to the sanitary sewer floor drain along the entire length of the metal finish bay floor. This incident may have contributed to the release of VOCs into soil and groundwater at the site.

The site is an industrial property and has neighboring industrial and residential areas. Over 163,000 people live within one mile of the site.

In 1984, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and Kurt entered into a Response Order by Consent (ROC), and the site was added to Minnesota’s Permanent List of Priorities (PLP). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the site to the National Priorities List (NPL) in October 1984 and finalized the site on the NPL in June 1986.

Site Responsibility

The Kurt Manufacturing site was being addressed through potentially responsible party (PRP) actions under state oversight as a part of EPA's enforcement deferral pilot agreement with MPCA. It is now being addressed through PRP actions under federal and state oversight.

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater and soil at the site were contaminated by PCE, trichloroethane (TCA), cis-1,2-dichloroethylene, and trichloroethylene (TCE). Prior to any cleanup work being taken (see Cleanup Progress, below), direct contact or accidental ingestion of contaminated soil or groundwater could have posed a human health risk. Currently, surface soil has been cleaned up but dissolved contaminants remain in site groundwater.

Cleanup Progress

Kurt constructed a pump-and-treat system in 1986 to clean up contaminated groundwater near the site. The system is still operating and it will continue to operate until groundwater cleanup goals are achieved. More details about the history of the investigation and the cleanup are shown below.

In 1982, before the site was listed on the NPL, Kurt Manufacturing had conducted a shallow groundwater investigation and sampling analysis indicated that wells at the site were contaminated with PCE. In spring 1983, additional soil and groundwater samples were analyzed and indicated that the soils were contaminated down to the water table, and groundwater had elevated levels of PCE and TCE. Further investigations, in October 1983, showed elevated levels of PCE and TCA in soils and groundwater in the metals cuttings bin sump area located adjacent to the loading dock. Based on the results of soil and groundwater monitoring data, MPCA staff and Kurt representatives determined that the metal cuttings bin sump area was the primary source of the release of hazardous substances to soil and groundwater at the site. In spring 1986, the shallow production well was abandoned and the metals cuttings bin sump area was excavated and capped to prevent further infiltration to the environment.

In April 1984, MPCA issued a request for response action, calling for the negotiation of a consent order for a remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) and for the design and implementation of cleanup actions. A consent order between MPCA and Kurt was signed in August 1984. The RI was completed in 1986, and a pump-and-treat system was installed in 1986. A Minnesota Enforcement Decision Document was completed in May 1986. Operation of the pumping system and groundwater monitoring are ongoing. In 2007, the site was delisted from Minnesota's Permanent List of Priorities; however, the site remains on the NPL.

EPA and MPCA completed the Third Five-Year Review Report for the site in 2005. EPA later determined that five-year reviews under the federal Superfund program were not required because EPA had not selected or concurred on a remedy for the site. As a result, EPA will not be conducting five-year reviews of the Kurt Manufacturing site unless and until EPA selects or concurs on a remedial action for the site.

The MPCA completed another five-year review of the site in 2009. MPCA determined that the cleanup remedy remains protective of human health and the environment in the short term. The sump, which was suspected to be the contaminant source area, has been removed and capped to reduce infiltration. A shallow well, which was thought to be a source of infiltration of contaminants into groundwater, has been properly abandoned. A pump-and-treat sysem is in operation to control migration of shallow groundwater. Institutional controls are in place to limit access to groundwater and soils. Recommendations for additional actions to ensure long-term protectiveness include capture zone analysis and placing an additional institutional control on the site for groundwater.

In 2010, Kurt removed additional soil from the source area and installed a pilot soil vapor extraction (SVE) system. The SVE system began operating in late 2011 and has removed approximately 1500 pounds of VOCs since February 2011. It is hoped that this additional source removal will shorten the length of time that an active groundwater migration control system will need to operate.

In December 2011, MPCA informed EPA that it was transferring the agency lead on the site to EPA. EPA and Kurt entered into an Administrative Order on Consent on May 6, 2014, to conduct a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS) at the site. MPCA will continue to oversee the ongoing cleanup work being conducted under the existing consent order between the State and Kurt until such time that EPA has an enforcement instrument in place requiring cleanup work at the site. 

Property Reuse

The site remains an active industrial property.  Kurt Manufacturing has operated a precision machining and metal fabrication facility at this location since 1959.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
sheila desai (desai.sheila@epa.gov)
(312) 353-4150

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
teresa jones
(312) 886-0725




Site Profile Information

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


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