The Fish Hatchery Dump is located in the Mississippi River valley, south of the intersection of Warner Road and Highway 61/10 in St. Paul, Minn. The dump is about 38 acres, mostly of wooded and grassy areas. A stream and a bicycle trail are other features of the dump. Little Pig’s Eye Lake and the BNSF Railyard are located to the south and southeast of the dump, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Central Regional Office is located to the west.
What's the problem?
The Fish Hatchery Dump operated from the mid-1930s to 1971. During the dump’s operation, approximately 690,000 cubic yards of garbage and other wastes that can decay were disposed of. When the dump closed in 1971, the waste was covered with soil.
Over time, erosion, freezing/thawing, and flooding have removed some of the cover soil, exposing the waste in spots. The dump was added to the Minnesota's Superfund list (also known as the Permanent List of Priorities or PLP) in August 2007.
Pesticides, metals, volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, PCBs and PFAS exceeding Minnesota standards are found in soil, groundwater, surface water, and sediment.
What are the risks?
When visitors get off the bicycle trails, they could be exposed to contamination by walking or camping in areas where landfill soil cover has been disturbed. Visitors could contact contaminated sediments in the lake and stream by wading and paddling in the area. Visitors can also consume contaminants while swimming or eating fish caught there.
The full extent of contamination at the site is not yet known. Visitors who stay on the bike trail have no or very little risk of being exposed to contamination.
What's being done?
Additional soil, groundwater, surface water, and sediment testing are being done to determine the full extent of the contamination and outline which areas need to be cleaned up. The testing results will be used to design a cleanup plan for the area.
Various organizations have expressed interest in improving this area for future recreational use by the public. Throughout the investigation and cleanup process, the MPCA will continue to work cooperatively with project stakeholders and organizations regarding future site redevelopment.
Stephanie Ryno, Project Engineer
Mike Bares, Project Hydrogeologist
For information about health impacts, contact:
Phil Monson, Risk Assessor — MPCA Water Quality Standards Unit