The Nutting Company was formerly located at 1221 Division Street in the city of Faribault, Rice County, Minnesota. Between 1891 and 1984, Nutting manufactured and distributed casters, wheels, hand trucks, and towline trucks at its Faribault plant. The present Nutting Truck and Castor site is an 10-acre site within the city of Fairbault (population of 21,000). Beginning in 1959, the facility disposed of waste materials in a seepage pit in the northwest corner of the site. The wastes included demolition debris, paint sludge, coolant oil, degreaser sludge, paint stripper, plating waste, and rags with paint and xylol. In response to a 1979 Notice of Noncompliance by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), Nutting excavated the seepage pit, backfilled it with clean fill, and capped the area.
The city of Faribault operated five municipal wells, the nearest of which is located about one-half mile downgradient and north of the Nutting property. In October and November 1982, well water analyses indicated that all five of the municipal wells were contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE) and 1,2-dichloroethylene (DCE), a degradation product of TCE. Further investigations by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the MPCA concluded that the source of contamination in the wells did not appear to be related to the TCE plume migrating from the Nutting site.
From 1979 to 1983, Nutting installed six monitoring wells near the site. Analytical results indicated that the groundwater beneath the former seepage pit was contaminated with cadmium, lead, cyanide, methylene chloride, TCE, and xylene. TCE was also detected in wells that were upgradient of the site and at the boundary of the site.
In 1983, the state issued a request for response action (RFRA) to the Nutting Company, as a potentially responsible party (PRP). On April 26, 1984, the MPCA and Nutting signed a consent order to conduct a remedial investigation (RI) at the site. An RI is a study into the nature and extent of contamination at the site. Due to the groundwater contamination, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in September 8, 1983, making it eligible for investigation and cleanup under the Superfund program.
The Nutting Company owners sold the company in 1984. The company was reconstituted as Faultless Nutting, and is currently operating in Watertown, South Dakota. The owners now lease the site property under Prairie Avenue Leasing Ltd. for commercial and light industrial purposes.