Three Minneapolis sites proposed for Superfund list

Updated: May 10, 2016 - 12:59 pm

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has proposed adding three polluted sites in Minneapolis to the state’s Superfund list.

The sites include a former dry cleaning operation at 55th Street & Lyndale Avenue South; a former plating facility at 19th Avenue Northeast & Monroe Street Northeast; and a vapor intrusion area at 2010 E. Hennepin Ave.

Overall, the MPCA has proposed adding 10 new sites to the Superfund priorities list — nine are in the Twin Cities and one is in Cloquet.

The sites have “known risks to human health or the environment,” according to the MPCA. The public can comment on the proposed additions to the Superfund list by June 10 and the MPCA Remediation Division will make a presentation on the sites May 24 in St. Paul.

When a site is placed on the state’s Superfund Permanent List of Priorities it becomes available for funding to investigate and cleanup the pollutants.

The 55th & Lyndale site is home to two properties that include a former dry cleaning business. In 2012, the MPCA investigated the site for sources of perchloroethylen (a chemical used in dry cleaning) and tested for underground soil vapor. In subsequent investigations the MPCA determined it was possible that there was vapor intrusion in nearby homes and businesses.

The MPCA is working on installing vapor intrusion mitigation systems for five homes and four additional homes might get the systems.

Vapor intrusion happens when chemicals seep from contaminated groundwater through the soil into buildings, according to the MPCA. Long-term exposure to perchloroethylen (aka PERC or PCE) can cause cognitive impairments and harm the liver, kidney and immune system.

The 19th & Monroe site in Northeast was formerly home to Universal Plating, a chemical and mechanical plating facility that closed in 2009. Several metals and chlorinated solvents were discovered in the site’s soils in 2012, including arsenic and lead.

The MPCA continues to investigate the environmental impact on nearby homes.

The Southeast Minneapolis site has groundwater contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE), an industrial solvent and degreaser.

To comment on the proposed additions to the Superfund list or learn more about the sites, go to pca.state.mn.us/waste/superfund-program.