EPA Cleans Up Yards and Conducts Sampling
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South Minneapolis Neighborhood Soil Contamination Site
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently cleaned up arsenic-contaminated soil from the yards of 29 Minneapolis homes. In a project that began in mid-October and ended December 2, EPA workers dug up the soil and took it to an EPA-approved landfill in Elk River, Minn., for disposal. Clean fill dirt was brought in to replace the contaminated soil.
The properties are part of what is known as the South Minneapolis Neighborhood Soil Contamination Site (the Site). About 400 homes were tested over the past few years by EPA and other agencies. A series of soil samples eventually showed high levels of arsenic in 29 yards, requiring EPA to remove the soil in those yards.
Meeting, interviews will help EPA plan
EPA is now working on plans for the future of the Site. To help gather more information, EPA has scheduled an open house for April 20 and a series of interviews with local residents, set for April 20 (1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and April 21 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) at the Oliver Presbyterian Church, 2467 Bloomington Ave. S. If you have comments, or would like to schedule an appointment for an interview, call (866) 9551543, or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
EPA expects to take a new round of soil samples at the Site this spring or summer. The overall action plan will provide for quick cleanups — such as the fall project — if high arsenic levels are found, and it will outline an approach for using sampling data to make future cleanup decisions.
EPA and Minnesota Department of Agriculture are working together to get the Site placed on the Superfund National Priorities List. Putting a site on the NPL helps guide EPA in deciding which sites warrant further investigation.
About the Site
The CMC Heartland Lite Yard site (plant site) is located on 5 acres at the northwest corner of the intersection of Hiawatha Avenue and 28th Street. Several companies produced pesticides at the plant site from 1938 to 1968. When arsenic was discovered at the plant site, health agencies suspected that the wind might have blown contaminated dust into nearby neighborhoods. Yards were sampled north and west of the plant site. When MDA confirmed that arsenic was present on some properties, the agency asked for help from EPA in cleaning up the contamination.
Those responsible for the contamination at the plant site are cleaning it up under MDA supervision. EPA will take additional samples at the South Minneapolis Neighborhood Soil Contamination site. Based on sampling results, EPA will propose a cleanup approach for the Site.
- May 2001 Following an April 1999 report, the Agency for Toxic Substance Disease Registry, in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Health provided a health consultation expressing concern about the possibility of highly contaminated dust being blown off the CMC Lite Yard Site and affecting the residential area to the northwest.
- June 2001 MDA and MDH collected a limited number of soil samples from the residential area. Sample results warranted further study.
- Sept. 2003 MDA collected additional soil samples from the residential area.
- Jan. 2004 MDA asked EPA for help with the arsenic contamination at the South Minneapolis Neighborhood Soil Contamination Site.
- May through Oct. 2004 EPA collected additional soil samples from properties in the Site. These samples identified 29 properties with high arsenic concentrations.
- Fall 2004 EPA dug up soil from 29 properties with high concentrations of arsenic in the soil. The contaminated soil was disposed of in an approved landfill.
312-353-6196 or 800-621-8431, ext. 36196
EPA Remedial Project Manager
EPA On-Scene Coordinator
Minnesota Department of Agriculture Project Manager