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NPL Site Narrative for Burlington Northern (Brainerd/Baxter)

BURLINGTON NORTHERN (BRAINERD/BAXTER)
Baxter, Brainerd, Minnesota

Federal Register Notice:  September 08, 1983

Conditions at listing (July 1982): Burlington Northern (BN) preserves railroad ties with creosote on a 70-acre site in the Brainerd/Baxter area of Minnesota. Waste water and sludges from the process have been discharged to on-site ponds since the plant's construction in 1907. The original pond was abandoned in the 1930s and covered. A second pond has been used since that time. Both probably lack any natural or constructed seal. The second pond covers about 2 acres and contains 3 feet of sludge on top of an unknown quantity of contaminated soil. Several exploratory borings confirm the existence of sludge and/or contaminated soil in the area of the original pond. On-site ground water is contaminated by a number of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. The State sampled a number of area wells, most of which are north or west of the site, while ground water flows to the southeast from the site. No drinking water wells appear to be contaminated as yet, although the Mississippi River may be receiving contaminated ground water.

Status (July 1983): BN stopped discharging into the second pond in late 1982. The company also started a ground water investigation on-site, then expanded it at the request of the State to include off-site areas between the plant and the Mississippi River. BN is also investigating methods by which to remove and dispose of or treat sludges and contaminated soils, and recently hired a consultant to begin a remedial investigation to determine the extent of contamination at the site.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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