Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) staff from the Voluntary Investigation (VIC) Program provided technical oversight of the environmental investigation, cleanup, and redevelopment of the 2.88 acre Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota Site.

Front view of Childrens Museum


The site was used for unpermitted dumping in the 1930s and 1940s. The City of Mankato used the site as a bus maintenance facility and fueling station beginning in the 1940s. The former underground fuel tanks were removed in 1988.

Environmental issues and the Cleanup process

  • Soil was contaminated with arsenic, lead, mercury, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), petroleum compounds and some asbestos containing materials.
  • About 2,638 tons of contaminated soil and about 53 tons of asbestos containing waste were excavated and disposed of at a permitted landfill.

Redevelopment of the site

  • The old facility maintenance building was renovated for reuse as a museum space.

Assurances received

  • April 17, 2014 – Approval of Response Action Plan.
  • November 20, 2017 – Approval of Implementation Report.
  • Forthcoming – No Further Action Determination.

Institutional controls

  • In preparation – Environmental Covenant and Easement.

Project partners

  • MPCA VIC Program staff included John Betcher and Shanna Schmitt.
  • The environmental consultants were Donovan Hannu of Bay West, LLC and Joseph Foline of Braun Intertec Corporation.
  • Public funding sources included:
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5 Brownfields provided 128(a) grant to MPCA for sub-grants for property assessment
    • Minnesota Department of Employee and Economic Development (DEED) provided a Contamination Cleanup Grant

View of site building before renovation.