Canal Park Brewing/Duluth Spring Site

Canal-Park-530Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) staff from the Petroleum Brownfields (PB) and Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup (VIC) programs provided technical oversight of the environmental investigation, cleanup and redevelopment of the 0.4 acre Canal Park Brewing Company Site. The site is at 300 Canal Park Drive in Duluth. It is also known as the Duluth Spring Site.


The site and Canal Park area were originally established between 1902 and 1909 by filling in a part of Lake Superior near Duluth with fill of unknown origin. A store and some residences originally occupied the site, but in 1961 the Duluth Spring Company developed it for the manufacture of springs for commercial/industrial applications.

Environmental issues

  • The fill materials and/or past use of the site resulted in soil contaminated with lead, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and petroleum compounds.
  • Soil contamination extended about 12 feet below ground surface, to the large boulders that were placed on top of the old lake bed when the area was filled.
  • Groundwater is contaminated with PAHs. The groundwater contamination did not require remediation.

The cleanup process

  • The vacant Duluth Spring Company cinder block building was demolished.
  • About 4,000 tons of soil contaminated by lead, PAH, and petroleum were excavated, stabilized as necessary, and disposed of off site at a permitted landfill.
  • The excavated area was backfilled with nonimpacted soil and overall site grade was raised about four feet to make the site level with adjacent properties.


Redevelopment of the site

  • A 8,500-square-foot building was constructed. It serves as the home of Canal Park Brewing Company, a brewpub and restaurant.
  • An outdoor seating area along the Lake Walk was finished in the spring of 2013.

Environmental and economic benefits

  • Contaminated soil was removed from the site and risks have been managed.
  • Increased sales tax revenue for the city and property tax revenue for the county.
  • Approximately 70 full- and part-time jobs were created.
  • The site is another property that has been redeveloped along Duluth’s famous Lake Walk.

Assurances received

May 17, 2010: Petroleum Tank Release Site Tank Removal Verification letter.
May 17, 2010: Petroleum Storage Tank Release Liability letter.
September 10, 2010: Development Response Action Plan Approval.
December 20, 2012: Development Response Action Plan Implementation Report and Addendum Approval.
December 21, 2012: Retroactive No Association & No Association Determination for 300 Canal Park, LLC.
January 7, 2013: Completion of Development/Implementation Approval Letter.
January 30, 2013: No Further Action Determination for Soil and Groundwater.

Institutional controls

An Affidavit of Hazardous Substances was recorded in St. Louis County on January 3, 2013. The affidavit serves as a notification that soil contamination remains at depths greater than eight feet below the ground surface and that there is contamination in the groundwater.

Project partners

  • MPCA VIC and PB program staff included David Knight, Shanna Schmitt, and Mark Koplitz.
  • The developer was Ted Kavajecz with 300 Canal Park, LLC.
  • The environmental consultant was John McCarthy with Environmental Troubleshooters, Inc.
  • Public funding sources included a Minnesota Department of Employee and Economic Development (DEED) - Contamination Cleanup Grant.