Jump to main content.


Congressional District # 04


EPA ID# MND006192694
Last Updated: March, 2015

Site Description

The MacGillis & Gibbs Co. and the Bell Lumber & Pole Co. are adjoining properties listed as one site on the National Priorities List (NPL) and located in Ramsey County, Minnesota. These companies are the owners/operators and the principal potentially responsible parties (PRPs) for the site. The site covers 68 acres in New Brighton. Both companies have operated wood treatment plants since the early 1920s, although MacGillis & Gibbs Co. is no longer in operation at the Site. Both plants used creosote and pentachlophenol (PCP) as a preservative. MacGillis & Gibbs Co. had been using chromated copper arsenate since 1970. Dioxin was also found onsite. Spills and drippage of these chemicals have contaminated site process areas, the low-lying disposal area of the site, and the groundwater beneath the site. There are more than 10,000 people living within one mile of the site. The closest residence is within several hundred feet. The city of New Brighton has redeveloped the majority of the site for commercial and light industrial use. 

Site Responsibility

Federal fund lead long-term remedial action at this site ended September 30, 2012.  The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency currently operates, maintains and monitors the groundwater treatment system.

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater, sediments, and soils are contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), PCP, and heavy metals such as copper, chromium, and arsenic. Although municipal wells are not contaminated, site contaminants have been detected in a few private wells. The owners of these wells have stated that they do not consume water from those wells.  The 2011 Five-Year Review Report concluded there was no evidence of current exposures.

Cleanup Progress

In late 1993, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) removed 683 drums of solids and 28 drums of liquids, containing creosote, PCP, and dioxins from the MacGillis & Gibbs Co. facility. These drums were taken to an offsite incinerator for disposal. In 1985, Bell Lumber & Pole Co. entered into a consent order with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to cleanup contaminated soils and groundwater. This cleanup was completed in 1992, except for long-term groundwater treatment. 

In December 1997, U.S. EPA completed construction of an onsite bioremediation treatment plant to treat a lighter-than-water groundwater contaminant plume, and cleaned and removed abandoned process tanks and associated sludges and residues.  U.S. EPA completed solidification of metals-contaminated soils in February 1998 and disposed of the soils in an offsite landfill.  In fall 1999, U.S. EPA completed the construction of the majority of groundwater collection and treatment facilities to address the dissolved organic and metals contaminant plume which extends into offsite areas. 

A record of decision (ROD) amendment was completed in September 1999 for the organic-contaminated soils and debris at the MacGillis & Gibbs Co. facility. MPCA began construction of the amended remedial action in spring 2000 and completed it in fall 2001. 

A preliminary close-out report was issued in fall 2002, documenting that all construction associated with the remedial actions is complete and the site remedy is considered protective. The groundwater collection and treatment facilities are now in the long-term remedial action phase.   

Five-year reviews were completed in 2001, 2006.  The third five-year review report was completed in June 2011.  It concluded that the remedy is protective in the short-term and that there is no evidence of current exposures. It also concluded that in order to be protective in the long-term, groundwater cleanup standards must be met.

Federal lead long-term remedial action at the site ended September 30, 2012.   The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency continues to operate, maintain and monitor the groundwater treatment system.  In 2012 EPA repaired the bioreactor and other equipment at the site, abandoned extraction wells that were no longer needed, and removed and disposed other unused equipment.  Groundwater monitoring is conducted annually, and the next five year review will be in 2016.   EPA and the state are also planning a follow-up round of sediment sampling in Farrell's Lake in 2015.  EPA completed a draft dioxin reassessment at the site in December 2014.  EPA is working with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to address state comments on the document and finalize the report.

Property Reuse

Extensive redevelopment has occurred on the MacGillis & Gibbs facility. The redevelopment includes two light industrial buildings, two office buildings, and a retail building.


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
karen cibulskis (cibulskis.karen@epa.gov)
(312) 886-1843

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
cheryl allen
(312) 353-6196




Site Profile Information

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


Local Navigation

Jump to main content.