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U.S. EPA REGION 5
HENNEPIN COUNTY
MINNEAPOLIS

Congressional District # 05

WHITTAKER CORP.

EPA ID# MND006252233
Last Updated: November, 2011

Site Description

The Whittaker Corporation Site was located in Hennepin County, Minnesota, covering 7.5 acres of an idustrial area of the City of Minneapolis.  During World War II, a holding company operated on the site and repackaged war materials, including antifreeze and oil for the military.  In the 1950s, the company expanded its operations by acquiring a manufacturer of industrial coatings.  The Whittaker Corporation also produced resins and distributed steel.  Chemicals were stored in approximately 28 aboveground tanks, ranging in size from 2,000 to 20,000 gallons, and 21 underground tanks, ranging in size from 2,500 to 14,000 gallons. The tanks contained various hydrocarbon solvents, propylene glycol, styrene monomer, di-isobutyl, ketone, methyl ethyl ketone, methyl isobutyl ketone, toluene, xylene, and other chemicals. 

A variety of wastes were generated as a result of the processes used at the Whittaker Corporation Site, including tank bottoms, paint sludge, old paints, off-specification paints and resins, and cleaning fluids.  The Mississippi River is approximately 1,200 feet to the west of the site.  At the time the site was being investigated, there were four industrial and four residential wells in the nearby area. 

Site Responsibility

This site was cleaned up through State actions.  The site was part of the Minnesota Polution Control Agency (MPCA)'s Enforcement Deferral Pilot Project approved by U. S. EPA.

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater and soil were found to be contaminated with heavy metals, including cadmium and lead as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  Prior to cleanup, ingestion of, or direct contact with, contaminated soil and/or groundwater could pose a health risk. 

Cleanup Progress

A completed Phase I Report was submitted to MPCA in January 1983 and a groundwater investigation was initiated.  Monitoring wells were installed and groundwater samples were analyzed and found to contain several chlorinated solvents, benzene, cadmium, and chromium. The Whittaker Corporation completed soil removal and tank removal operations in March and April of 1985.

MPCA issued a request for response action in April 1985, which was amended in November 1985 to add specific details relative to both actions taken and ongoing at the site.  Whittaker Corporation installed a groundwater pumping system which operated from 1985 until 1994. 

In 1995, MPCA completed investigations and file reviews of two adjacent areas, one north and one west of the site.  The investigations were done to assess whether these areas had contaminated the groundwater drawn into Whittaker Corporation's groundwater pumping system. As a result of the investigation and data review, MPCA staff has determined that it is very unlikely that off-site contamination is responsible for elevated contaminant levels in the Whittaker pumping well. 

In 1998, under MPCA oversight, Whittaker Corp completed a soil and groundwater investigation to determine whether the site had been cleaned up to an acceptable level to protect human health and the environment.  Soil and groundwater investigations were conducted  and MPCA determined that all results were below specified cleanup goals. 

Success Story

Due to a cleanup conducted by a responsible party under oversight by MPCA, no impacts of concern to soils or groundwater remain at the site.  Therefore, the site was deleted from the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1999.  The deletion stated that because no hazardous substances remain at the site above health-based levels, a five-year review will no longer be conducted at this site.

Contacts

Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
leah evison (evison.leah@epa.gov)
(312) 886-2064

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
Don De Blasio
(312) 886-4360

Aliases

WHITTAKER CORP
WHITTAKER CORP MNPLS COATINGS & CHEM DIV

 

Site Profile Information

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

 


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