Boyer Lumber site

This site was removed from the MPCA's State Superfund Permanent List of Priorities in 2016.

Site history

The Boyer Lumber site is located at 1504 4th Street South in Virginia, Minn., and consists of an approximate 2.75-acre tract of land that was undeveloped mining property until it was purchased and developed in 1960. The property was used for the manufacture and storage of snow rakes until it was purchased in 1976 by Kenneth C. and Katherine M. Boyer.  From 1976 to 1999, the Boyers used the site as a lumber yard and hardware store.  In 1999, Blue Water Venture Partnership purchased the property and operated it as a retail home store until 2004, when Cedar Isle Holdings purchased the property and leased it to Virginia Lumber and Hardware Inc. to operate a retail lumber and hardware store.

The MPCA listed the site on the State Permanent List of Priorities (PLP) on February 25, 2014.

Boyer Lumber Superfund site map

Petroleum release reported in 1990

In August 1990, the site was reported to the MPCA when a petroleum release was discovered during the removal of a 500-gallon underground storage tank. Investigations were conducted under the MPCA’s Petroleum Remediation Program (PRP) and Site Assessment Programs (SA) from 1990 to 2013.

Contaminants identified during this investigation period included volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pentachlorophenol (PCP), and dioxins in soil, and VOCs, PAHs, and PCPs in groundwater. Investigations for petroleum contaminants were completed by the MPCA PRP from 1990-2009.

From 2006-2009, the MPCA SA program provided technical assistance to the PRP for hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants that were discovered and reported during the petroleum investigation. In 2009, the site obtained regulatory closure from the MPCA PRP for petroleum contaminants. From 2009 to 2013, the MPCA SA program conducted continued investigation of the hazardous substances, pollutants and contaminants.

Cleanup activities completed for petroleum release

From 1998-2013, water containing PCP was removed from the site.  Recovery methods included the use of petroleum absorbent socks, hand removal with a bailer, and using a vacuum truck and/or peristaltic pump.

Goals for cleanup of hazardous substances

The primary health concern Boyer Lumber was the potential exposure to contaminated surface soils within the upper four feet below ground level. Investigations had shown there were no drinking water wells near the site, and the groundwater contamination plume had not migrated off the Site. The lack of nearby sources of private or public drinking water, combined with the limited size of the groundwater plume indicated potential human exposure to contaminated groundwater was low enough so that no remedial actions related to groundwater were needed at the site.

The MPCA reviewed and agreed with the findings of a feasibility study from August 2015 that concluded that excavation and offsite disposal of contaminated soils would be appropriate for reaching the sites cleanup goals.

Contaminated soil removal

In December 2014, approximately 591 tons of contaminated soils were excavated and disposed of properly. Soil samples collected from the excavated pit showed that remaining levels of contamination did not exceed any health-based risk limits.

The agency has also filed an affidavit with the St. Louis County Recorder's Office that describes the location of remaining soil and groundwater contamination. The affidavit also notes the cleanup actions taken prepared the site for industrial or commercial use, and that the MPCA should be contacted about any use or activity impacting the protectiveness of the remedy.

Staff contacts

Jennifer Jevnisek
Site Remediation and Redevelopment Section

Tom Higgins
Site Remediation and Redevelopment Section