Contaminated soil cleanup of more than 600 south Minneapolis homes completed ahead of schedule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finished its cleanup of contaminated soil in south Minneapolis a full year ahead of schedule.

The EPA used $20 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, along with other funds, to clean up more than 600 properties. During the cleanup, the EPA removed more than 50,000 tons of arsenic-contaminated soil, filled the yards with clean soil and replanted plants and grass. The entire cost of the Superfund cleanup was $28 million. The EPA began its Superfund cleanup in 2004 and stepped up the process in 2009 when ARRA funding was provided. 

The South Minneapolis Superfund site encompasses several neighborhoods near 2016 28th St. E., the location of the former CMC Heartland Partners Lite Yard, where a pesticide containing arsenic was produced. Contaminated material from an open-air conveyor belt railcar-unloading and product-mixing operation is believed to have been wind-blown into surrounding neighborhoods. Long-term exposure to arsenic has been linked to cancer.

Reflecting the area’s diverse makeup, EPA printed fact sheets in Spanish, Hmong, Vietnamese, and Somali as well as English, and deployed bilingual staff and translators to the neighborhood. Residents – who paid nothing for the cleanup – were able to continue living in their homes throughout the project. Removing contamination also enhances the resale value of these properties.

EPA’s Superfund program managed the cleanup. The federal Superfund program was created in 1980 to clean up uncontrolled hazardous waste sites that pose unacceptable risks to human health and the environment.

More information on the South Minneapolis Residential Soil Contamination Superfund site is available on the EPA website.

 

Published Jun 5, 2012

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