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Congressional District # 05


EPA ID# MND006481543
Last Updated: July, 2012

Site Description

The 18-acre FMC Corp. Fridley Plant (FMC) site is located in Anoka County, Minnesota, several hundred feet east of the Mississippi River.  Solvents, paint sludge, and plating wastes were generated and disposed of in an on-site dump from the 1940s until 1969.  Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) staff sampled site surface and groundwater in the early 1980s and confirmed that ground and surface water were contaminated by industrial solvents.  In the 1980s, solvents from the site were detected in the city of Minneapolis drinking water system intake that is located downgradient of where the FMC site groundwater contaminant plume enters the river.

To address this, the Minneapolis surface water intake was moved further downstream and into the center of the river.  Regular sampling of the water from the intake has shown no exceedences of contaminants since the 1980s.  Because of the threat posed to Minneapolis drinking water, this site received one of the highest Hazard Ranking System (HRS) scores of all sites on the National Priorities List (NPL).  However, that threat was mitigated by relocating the intake.  Cleanup work at the FMC site was initiated in the 1980s, and the groundwater extraction wells that were installed as part of the remedy have been in operation since that time.

Site Responsibility

The FMC Corp. Fridley Plant site is being addressed by potentially responsible party (PRP) actions under state and federal oversight.

Threats and Contaminants

FMC site groundwater is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including trichloroethylene (TCE).  Soil that was excavated in the 1980s was also contaminated with TCE.  The main health risk at the FMC site would be if someone were to use contaminated groundwater as a drinking water supply.  TCE believed to be from the site was detected in high concentrations in groundwater wells located near the Mississippi River and is believed to have contributed to the detection of VOCs in the Minneapolis drinking water supply intake in the 1980s.  However, the surface water intake was moved further downstream and no exceedences of VOCs have been detected in the intake since that time. In addition, because no private drinking water wells are in the area, no residents are directly exposed to the contaminants in the site groundwater. 

Cleanup Progress

The soil cleanup at the FMC site and installation of groundwater extraction wells were completed between 1983 and 1987.  In addition to storing contaminated soil in an on-site vault, the cleanup also included pumping contaminated groundwater and transporting it to a nearby treatment plant.  Routine monitoring of groundwater began in 1987 and continues to this day.  Although concentrations of VOCs in groundwater have decreased in most monitoring wells, pumping will continue until cleanup goals have been met.

Because contamination still exists on the site, by law, the remedy must be reviewed every five years to ensure that it is still protective.  Five-year reviews were completed by MPCA in 1999, 2004 and 2009.  The next review will be conducted in 2014.  No issues with the remedy's short-term protectiveness have been identified in any of the five-year reviews. The remedy continues to be protective of public health and the environment.

More details about the cleanup that took place during the 1980s are presented below.

On July 8, 1983, MPCA approved an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) and interim Response Order by Consent among MPCA, U.S. EPA, and FMC.  These orders provided for the excavation and placement of contaminated soil in an on-site vault.  Construction of the containment facility began in May 1983.  Approximately 38,600 cubic yards of contaminated soil were excavated from a 2.3 acre portion of the site and placed in the vault by July 1, 1983.  The vault is monitored under a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit, issued to FMC Corporation by the MPCA. 

Additional investigation, required under the orders, indicated that the unconfined and confined glacio-fluvial aquifers, comprising an area of approximately 25 acres, were impacted by industrial solvents.  The aquifers discharge directly to the Mississippi River.  In May 1985, FMC submitted a groundwater cleanup feasibility study which presented the different options for addressing the groundwater contamination.

A Response Order by Consent was executed between MPCA and FMC in October 1986 to address the contaminated groundwater.  A groundwater pumpout system, consisting of five pumpout wells, was approved by MPCA.  Construction was completed, and the system became operational on December 8, 1987.  One well, RW-1, was shut down in 1988 due to insufficient water to maintain pumping in the well. The site is currently in long-term operation and maintenance of groundwater pumpout and monitoring.  Improvements to the system have been made over time. 

Property Reuse

The site continues to be used as a manufacturing facility (BAE Systems).  In 2009, BAE installed 16 solar panels on the site to provide electricity.  The panels provide 30 percent of the electrical energy for the remediation system on the south side of the site.  The amount of energy produced per year would supply enough power for four average sized homes.  The use of solar energy at the FMC site prevents 41,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from being produced and emitted into the air.  


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

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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