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EPA proposes cleanup plan for South Minneapolis Superfund site; meeting June 11, 6:30 p.m.

Release Date: 06/04/2008
Contact Information: Mick Hans, 312-353-5050, hans.mick@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 08-OPA100

EPA proposes cleanup plan for South Minneapolis Superfund site; meeting June 11, 6:30 p.m.

CHICAGO (June 4, 2008) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 will hold a public meeting to discuss its proposed $17.9 million cleanup plan for the South Minneapolis Residential Soil Contamination Superfund site in Minneapolis. The meeting will be Wednesday, June 11, 6:30 p.m., at the YWCA, 2121 E. Lake St. A comment period began June 2 and runs until July 1.

Unlike past less structured meetings about the site, this meeting will follow a traditional public comment format. EPA representatives will discuss the proposed plan and then give local officials and residents an opportunity to ask questions or make comments about the cleanup plan that a court reporter will record. Comments may also be mailed, faxed or submitted via an electronic form at http://www.epa.gov/region5/sites/cmcheartland/index.htm. A fact sheet with details on the plan and instructions on how to mail or fax comments may be found at that URL.

EPA evaluated six cleanup alternatives and proposes a plan that calls for removing shallow soil with arsenic levels higher than 25 parts per million. (Parts per million, or ppm, are expressed in the metric system as milligrams per kilogram, or mg/kg.) EPA will take soil samples from each excavated property to show that only low amounts of arsenic remain. If soil one foot deep still contains arsenic higher than 95 ppm, workers will dig deeper. Once the contaminated soil is removed, EPA will fill in the yards with clean soil and restore any landscaping disturbed.

The South Minneapolis Superfund 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. By the end of 2008, EPA will have cleaned up 197 yards with arsenic levels above 95 ppm - a level that presented short-term health risks. EPA dug up one foot of soil at those properties and will revisit them if the sample results from the remaining deep soil shows levels above 95 ppm.

Residents with questions or who need special accommodations at the public meeting may contact EPA Community Involvement Coordinator Cheryl Allen at 800-621-8431, Ext. 36196, or allen.cheryl@epa.gov.

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