Clyde Iron Works


The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) Petroleum Brownfields Program (PBP) and Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup Program (VIC) staff provided liability assurances along with assisting in environmental investigation and redevelopment activities. The two programs also worked with Barr Engineering to implement response actions for site cleanup and development.


Clyde Iron Works began its manufacturing plant in Duluth, Minnesota in 1889. They manufactured tools for logging and eventually built cranes and construction equipment. Clyde’s construction and material handling equipment was used to build such projects as the Empire State Building, the Panama Canal and the Golden Gate Bridge. The company also built crane hoists and other equipment for use in World War II.

Environmental issues and the cleanup process

  • The site was a former manufacturing facility. On-site soils contained polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) metals, coal dust and petroleum contaminants.
  • Five thousand (5,000) cubic yards of contaminated soil was removed and transported to an approved landfill. In addition, soils were thin spread under the southern and northern parking lot areas and paved with asphalt.
  • A vapor mitigation system was installed under the main building to control potential vapors.


Redevelopment of the site

  • Ten acre site located on the west side of Duluth
  • Phase I of development included installation of a major new storm sewer line (30 feet deep, ~1,000 linear feet long), and renovation of one of the historical machine shops into the new Duluth Heritage Sports Center central operations building and facility entrance foyer. The Heritage Hall building includes offices, a lobby, a concessions kitchen, locker rooms, training rooms, the physical plant, and the Boys and Girls Club of America space. Attached to the eastern side of the Heritage Hall is the Heritage Sports Area, a new ice arena building dedicated for year-round youth ice sports use.
  • Phase II of development included the installation of the Heritage Sports Center Pavilion, a multi-sports building attached to the central Heritage Hall.
  • Phase III of the development involved two historical buildings gutted and renovated into use as office space, a sports training facility and a new restaurant, concert and convention facility, with three new parking lots.

Environmental and economic benefits

  • The new Heritage Sports Center will operate year round to provide Duluth the opportunity to become a destination for national tournaments, camps and training. The impact of the Center has been calculated at $2,000,000 annually on top of the existing tourism benefit.
  • The Duluth Heritage Sports Center Foundation will establish an endowment fund. The Foundation will distribute grants to eligible families to defray part of the expense of youth participation in organized sporting activities.

Assurances received

December 19, 2007 – General Liability letters issued to Clyde Industrial Park, Inc. and the Duluth Heritage Sports Center.
January 4, 2008 – General Liability letter issued to the City of Duluth.
February 21, 2008 – No Further Action issued to Clyde Industrial Park, Inc.
February 21, 2008 – No Association Determination issued to Duluth Heritage Sports Center
February 25, 2008 – Petroleum Storage Tank Release Site Closure letter issued to Clyde Industrial Park, Inc.
February 26, 2008 – No Association Determination issued to the City of Duluth.
May 26, 2009 – No Association Determination issued to Clyde Park Holdings, LLC and Clyde Master Tenant, LLC.
February 4, 2010 - Lender No Association Determination to US Bank, NA

Institutional controls

Environmental Covenant to maintain and restrict use in areas where soils impacted by the above contaminants were used on site beneath a building footprint and a parking lot.

Project partners

  • MPCA VIC staff: David Knight and Kevin Sikkila
  • MPCA PBP staff: Mark Koplitz and Bassou Oulgout
  • Barr Engineering: Eric Dott, Vice President
  • Duluth Economic Development Authority: Heidi Timm-Bijold, Business Resources Manager
  • MN Department of Employment and Economic Development: Kristin Lukes, Project Manager
  • Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Grant