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Gluek Park cleanup under way; $3 million project continues through summer

Release Date: 06/21/2005
Contact Information: Mick Hans, (312) 353-5050 Cheryl Allen, (312) 353-6196

No. 05-OPA097
For Immediate Release

CHICAGO (June 21, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has begun a $3 million cleanup effort at Minneapolis' Gluek Park, 1927 Marshall Street N.E., along the Mississippi River. The Minneapolis Park District property has been closed since September 2003.

Throughout the summer, residents and neighboring businesses can expect to see construction equipment, dumptrucks hauling contaminated soil and workers in required protective equipment in and around the park.

The Gluek Park cleanup is the final phase of an EPA effort that began in 2000. In the 1950s and 1960s, gravel-like asbestos-contaminated processing waste from the long-closed Western Minerals facility in the Logan Park neighborhood was made available to nearby residents, many of whom used the material to fill in holes in yards and driveways. From 2000 to 2004, an EPA Superfund team, working with state and local agencies, inspected 1,700 homes, primarily in northeast Minneapolis neighborhoods, and excavated contaminated soil from 268 homes. This completed residential work, paid for by Superfund, has cost $7 million to date.

While investigating the earlier cleanup, EPA learned that some of the Western Minerals waste material was used at Gluek Park. The material is scattered over three acres, as well as the embankment along the Mississippi River. The current work will involve excavating thousands of tons of asbestos-contaminated soil and certain surface trees, vegetation and garden areas. The soil will be sent to an EPA-approved disposal facility and the park will be restored with new landscaping.

A command post trailer, often staffed during the work day, will be at the site all summer. Residents with questions about the project may leave a message on the EPA trailer line at (612) 706-0647, or they may contact Chicago-based EPA community involvement coordinator Cheryl Allen, (800) 621-8431, Ext. 36196 during business hours or via e-mail, allen.cheryl@epa.gov.

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