Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Thursday, September 27, 2007

EPA adds local arsenic site to superfund list

This is big news and something we have been working for for a while. I wanted to share it with you all. One of the very important decisions we have to try to influence at this point is the level of arsenic in soil that the EPA will deem "background" for this site, which I have heard could be anywhere from 10-17 parts per million.


CONTACT: Mick Hans, 312-353-5050, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 07-OPA161

EPA adds South Minneapolis arsenic site to Superfund National Priorities List
CHICAGO (Sept. 19, 2007) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today named the South Minneapolis Residential Soil Contamination site in Minneapolis, Minn., for addition to the Superfund National Priorities List. The site was proposed for addition to the NPL in September 2006, followed by a 60-day comment period.

The South Minneapolis site encompasses a number of neighborhoods near the intersection of 28th Street and Hiawatha Avenue, where the CMC Heartland Lite Yard was located from about 1938 to 1968. A pesticide containing arsenic was produced there and material from an open-air railcar-unloading and product-mixing operation is believed to have been wind-blown into nearby neighborhoods.

Since 2004, EPA has collected soil samples from more than 3,000 properties in the area. To date, 197 properties have shown arsenic contamination levels requiring prompt action. Of these, about 160 will be cleaned up by late October 2007. The remaining properties will be addressed in 2008. Community update meetings have been scheduled on a regular basis at the YWCA, 2121 E. Lake St.

Adding the site to the NPL enables EPA to access additional Superfund resources to evaluate, select and perform long-term cleanup work. Community input will be sought and considered throughout the process.

Nationally, seven new hazardous waste sites were added to the NPL, with 12 others proposed for addition to the list. (Under the NPL process, sites are first proposed and public comments considered, before a determination is made to formally add a site to the list.) To date, there have been 1,569 sites listed on the NPL. Of these, 320 sites have been deleted from the list, resulting in 1,249 sites currently on the NPL. Cleanup construction has been completed at 1,017 sites. There are now 66 proposed sites awaiting final agency action. Information on EPA's activities at the site over the past few years is at


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