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Indiana, Michigan and Minnesota Sites Included on EPA’s Superfund Redevelopment Focus List

Contact Information: 
Francisco Arcaute (
312-886-7613 312-898-2042 Cell

For Immediate Release     No. 18-OPA01

CHICAGO (Jan. 17, 2018) --Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that Superfund sites in East Chicago, Ind., Benton Harbor, Mich., Plainwell, Mich., Duluth, Minn., and Hermantown, Minn. are included on the initial list of National Priorities List (NPL) sites with the greatest expected redevelopment and commercial potential.

“EPA is more than a collaborative partner to remediate the nation’s most contaminated sites, we’re also working to successfully integrate Superfund sites back into communities across the country,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Today’s redevelopment list incorporates Superfund sites ready to become catalysts for economic growth and revitalization.”

Superfund redevelopment has helped countless communities reclaim and reuse thousands of acres of formerly contaminated land. Superfund sites on the list have significant redevelopment potential based on previous outside interest, access to transportation corridors, land values, and other critical development drivers.

The list easily directs interested developers and potential owners to Superfund sites with redevelopment potential, but does not necessarily include all possible sites with similar potential. The sites on this list are in alphabetical order and not ranked in any particular way.

As of Jan. 11, 2018, the Region 5 sites on the Superfund Redevelopment List are:

  • Aircraft Components Superfund Site, 671 N. Shore Dr., Benton Harbor: A dilapidated former manufacturing facility today is now part of Harbor Shores Golf Course, a valuable recreation resource for area residents and visitors.  Transformation and redevelopment continue with construction of a brewery expansion at the site.  EPA and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality continue to work with stakeholders to support appropriate land uses and additional redevelopment opportunities across the site.  

  • Plainwell Paper Mill Property, 211 N. Main St., Plainwell (Allied Paper, Inc./Portage Creek/Kalamazoo River Superfund Site): The Plainwell Paper Mill has been a vital component of Michigan’s economy, history and heritage for more than a century. It is part of a larger Superfund site that includes five disposal areas, four other paper mill properties, an 80-mile segment of the Kalamazoo River and a 3-mile stretch of Portage Creek.  EPA selected a final remedy for the site in 2015. Through local government leadership and coordination with EPA, state agencies and the site’s responsible party, cleanup and redevelopment are both moving forward. Zoning allows for commercial, administrative, financial, civic, cultural, residential, entertainment, and recreational reuse. 

  • Arrowhead Refinery Co. Superfund Site, NW Corner of Hwy 53 and Ugstad Road, Hermantown:  In 1996, EPA completed the cleanup of contaminated soil, sediment and groundwater at this 10-acre site where an oil refinery operated from 1961 until 1977. A warehouse is adjacent to the site and additional land is available for commercial development at the site. Major utilities are located nearby and roads border the site to the east and south.     

  • St. Louis River/Interlake/Duluth Tar, 88 Avenue W, Duluth (part of the St. Louis River Superfund Site):  The St. Louis River in western Duluth includes part of an estuary and an industrial transportation corridor. Two areas located four miles apart are designated as state Superfund sites. The St. Louis River/Interlake/Duluth Tar portion of the site includes 90 acres of land and 165 acres of dock slips. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is overseeing the final stages of the cleanup, and city leadership is supportive of redevelopment. A 2016 reuse assessment identified 8 acres as suitable for new industrial or commercial development with another 80 acres in active industrial use.  

  • USS Lead Superfund Site / Zone 1, 5300 Kennedy Blvd., East Chicago:  This 70-acre site includes the former West Calumet Housing Complex, a city park and the Carrie Gosch School.A lead refinery operated on the site from 1906-1985. The school is available for reuse, and the city has said the housing complex parcel will be zoned for residential use. EPA is re-evaluating cleanup options for Zone 1 in coordination with the city and the school district.  

In July 2017, the Superfund Task Force released its recommendations to streamline and improve the Superfund program including a focus on redevelopment training, tools and resources towards sites on the NPL. EPA will work diligently with developers interested in reusing these and other Superfund sites; will identify potentially interested businesses and industries to keep them apprised of redevelopment opportunities; and will continue to engage with community groups in cleanup and redevelopment activities to ensure the successful redevelopment and revitalization of their communities.

Administrator Pruitt has set the expectation that there will be a renewed focus on accelerating work and progress at all Superfund sites across the country. The Superfund program remains dedicated to addressing risk and accelerating progress at all of its sites, not just those on the list. The list is intended to be dynamic. Sites will move on and off the list as appropriate.

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