MPCA solicits comments on proposal to remove parts of 2 sites from state Superfund list

Contact: Sam Brungardt, 651-757-2249

St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) wants to remove, or “delist,” parts of two brownfield sites from the Permanent List of Priorities, Minnesota’s list of Superfund sites. The partial delistings will facilitate redevelopment at both sites.

The sites involved are the Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant (NIROP) in southwest Fridley (Anoka County) and the Superior Plating site, 315 First Ave. N.E., Minneapolis (Hennepin County). The MPCA announced the partial delistings on page 1236 of the Feb. 17 issue of the “Minnesota State Register."

The MPCA is now asking for written comments from the public on the proposed delistings. Comments received by 4:30 p.m. on March 19 will be considered.

At both sites, cleanup or management of pollution has progressed so that with continued oversight by the MPCA, the parts the MPCA wants to delist no longer pose a threat to human health or to the environment.

NIROP, located in Fridley south of the intersection of Interstate 694 and East River Road, was added to Minnesota’s Superfund list in 1984. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added the site to the federal Superfund list in 1989. NIROP dates to 1940, when the Northern Pump Co., under contract with the U.S. Navy, built a plant and began producing gun mounts for naval ships.

For purposes of managing cleanup, the MPCA and EPA divided NIROP into three Operable Units (OUs). OU1 includes the contaminated groundwater within, and originating from, the site. OU2 includes the soils above the water table within the boundaries of NIROP except for the unsaturated soils underlying the former Plating Shop Area. OU3 includes the unsaturated soils underlying the former Plating Shop Area.

The MPCA proposes to delete only OU2 of the NIROP site from the state Superfund list. The Navy has completed all appropriate and necessary response actions at OU2. Deed restrictions limit future use of the NIROP site to industrial or restricted commercial use. Last August, the EPA delisted OU2 from the federal Superfund list. The OU1 and OU3 areas will remain on both the state and federal Superfund lists.

Redevelopment plans are underway for OU2 and adjacent land areas at NIROP for the Northern Stacks industrial park. The MPCA’s Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup Program will oversee any redevelopment and associated response actions to ensure the NIROP site remains protective of public health and the environment. Information about NIROP and what has been done to clean up pollution at the site is on the MPCA's Superfund sites in Fridley webpage.

The MPCA listed the Superior Plating Site on the state Superfund list in October 1984. Once a city of Minneapolis streetcar barn and maintenance shop, Superior Plating Inc. electroplated metals in the building from 1956 through 2011. The building was demolished in early 2014. The MPCA divided the site into two Operable Units. OU1 consists of all unsaturated soils above bedrock within the site boundaries. OU2 is limited to the contaminated groundwater originating from electroplating operations. OU2 is an off-site groundwater plume, primarily consisting of the solvent trichloroethylene, which was used to degrease metal. OU2 also includes an off-site plume of leachate, primarily consisting of metals and cyanide from plating operations.

The MPCA proposes to delist only OU1 of the Superior Plating Site from the state Superfund list. First and University Investor LLC, the developer, has completed all necessary and appropriate cleanup of OU1. The MPCA, in conjunction with FUI, will continue to manage and address releases of hazardous substances associated with OU2. An environmental covenant filed on the property provides the MPCA an easement to conduct groundwater cleanup activities and operation of the leachate-collection system. Therefore, OU2 will remain on the state Superfund list and be renamed the Superior Plating Groundwater Plume Site. More information about the Superior Plating site and the cleanup of pollution there is on the Superior Plating Superfund Site webpage.

The MPCA invites the public to submit comments on these proposed partial deletions from the state Superfund list. Written comments must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on March 19, 2015. Comments should be sent to: Gary Krueger, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., Saint Paul, MN 55155-4194. Persons who have questions may contact Krueger at 651-757-2509 or by email at gary.krueger@state.mn.us.