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Congressional District # 03


EPA ID# MND044799856
Last Updated: February, 2012

Site Description

The Joslyn Manufacturing & Supply Company (Joslyn) Site is located within the city limits of Brooklyn Center in Hennepin County, Minnesota. The Joslyn Site is now divided into two discrete areas: the 25-acre portion of the site that has been delisted and redeveloped for commercial use and the 11-acre West Area. The redevelopment of the eastern portion of the Site has occurred since 2000. The westernmost portion of the site, the West Area, remains undeveloped. Middle Twin Lake borders the western perimeter of the West Area of the Joslyn Site.

The site was used for wood treating from the 1920s until its closure in 1980. The wood treating process began with a creosote thermal process and in 1965 it changed to a pressure treating process with pentachlorophenol (PCP) and a water-soluble process using chromated copper arsenic (CCA). Wastes from these processes were placed in waste disposal ponds on the site. Process sludge was also buried on the site. In addition, during the 1950s and 1960s, wood-treating solution spills occurred at the site.

Before the site was listed on the National Priorities List (NPL), Joslyn Manufacturing & Supply Company removed and properly disposed of approximately 30,000 gallons of wood-treating solutions at an out-of-state hazardous waste facility in December 1981 and began waste evaluations of the pond contents and sludge burial areas in September 1982. On September 27, 1983, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) issued a Request for Response Action (RFRA) to Joslyn pursuant to the Minnesota Environmental Response and Liability Act (MERLA) requesting that Joslyn undertake remedial actions to abate the release of hazardous substances at the site. On September 21, 1984, EPA listed the site on the NPL due to extensive soil and ground water contamination.

Prior to redevelopment, the Josyln Site was divided into four projects known as Operable Units (OUs) to help manage the complex cleanup process:

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through state and potentially responsible parties' actions.

Threats and Contaminants

The primary contaminants at the Joslyn Site are the following wood-treating chemicals: PCP, carcinogenic polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (cPAHs), and noncarcinogenic PAHs (nPAHs). The PAHs are constituents of creosote. Approximately 76,000 cubic yards of soil were found to be contaminated with PAH compounds, metals, phenol, and PCP. An aquifer of at least 30 acres was also contaminated. 


Cleanup Progress

On May 30, 1985, MPCA and Joslyn entered into a Consent Order to continue the investigation and cleanup of the site. In October 1988, Joslyn excavated and disposed of 18,818 tons of contaminated soil in an out-of-state permitted hazardous waste landfill. The remedy for the contaminated aquifer, a groundwater pump and treatment system, was installed in March 1989. MPCA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) on July 31, 1989. The selected remedies were groundwater pump-out and treatment with discharge to a municipal wastewater treatment plant, DNAPL recovery and disposal, and landfilling and bioremediation of certain contaminated soils.

On October 8, 1996, using EPA guidance and a report produced by Joslyn in cooperation with the city of Brooklyn Center, MPCA established the reasonably anticipated land use to be industrial. On June 3, 1999, MPCA staff visited the site and verified that the remedial actions for OUs 1, 2, and 3 were operating as designed; all visually contaminated soils had been removed from all areas except for the West Area, i.e., the area of the site for which delisting and development was planned. The soil remedy was completed for the OU4 portion of the site that was redeveloped during 1999-2004 and was partially delisted from MPCA's Permanent List of Priorities (PLP) and EPA's NPL.

The West Area portion of OU4 has not yet been delisted. The West Area has been fenced as an interim security precaution to limit access by the public until a remedy can be implemented. MPCA has posted signs on the West Area fence to warn the public of the contamination that exists in the West Area. The soil remedy for the delisted portion of OU4 is functioning as intended and is protective of human health and the environment. Potential short- and long-term exposure to contaminated soil in the West Area is possible but will be prevented once a remedy is implemented for the West Area. The West Area fence and warning signs were installed as an interim response to limit human access and exposure to contaminated soil, sediment and surface water. The MPCA is overseeing evaluation of remedial alternatives for the area through a Feasibility Study.

MPCA completed the Fourth Five-Year Review Report for the site in June 2009. The purpose of a five-year review is to determine whether the remedy at a site is protective of human health and the environment. The report indicated that the ground water and DNAPL remedies at the Joslyn Site are functioning as intended and are protective of human health and the environment. The ground water extraction remedy is removing contaminants from the shallow and middle sands and is providing containment of the contaminant plume. The DNAPL recovery system continues to remove DNAPL. The soil remedy for the developed portion of the site has addressed the soil impacts and the site cover continues to be protective of human health and the environment. The final remedy for the west area remains to be developed and implemented.


Property Reuse

The eastern two-thirds of the Joslyn Site have been redeveloped by others under actions carried out under the approval of the MPCA Superfund Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup (VIC) program. The redevelopment consists primarily of the construction of three buildings and associated parking and drive areas and the extension of Azelia Avenue. Redevelopment and/or road construction on adjacent properties have not adversely affected the on-site remedial actions. Completion of the various phases of development required cooperation and coordination between Joslyn, the city of Brooklyn Center, the developer (Real Estate Recycling, LLC), the MPCA, and others.

Three restrictive covenants have been placed on the site to ensure the remedy remains effective.  First, no water wells may be constructed on site.  Second, the site is limited to industrial use, and third, rights to access are preserved for state and federal environmental inspection and for a responsible party to operate and maintain remedial actions.


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

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
dave novak
(312) 886-7478




Site Profile Information

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


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