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The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just completed its fourth Five-Year Review of the University of Minnesota Rosemount Research Center Superfund Site. The 2012 Five-Year Review Report, issued via the EPA’s Region 5 office in Chicago, determined that actions taken by the University earlier continue to protect human health and the environment in the short term.
The site that was the focus of the EPA review consists of four former waste disposal areas located within the boundaries of UMore Park. Three of those sites, George’s Used Equipment, US Transformer and Porter Electric, were used by former University tenants prior to 1980 for recycling electric transformers. The fourth area was a burn pit used by the University in the 1960s and early 1970s for disposal of University chemical and laboratory waste. These four sites, which comprise a total of approximately 10 acres, were added to the EPA’s National Priorities List (or Superfund) on June 10, 1986. The University completed an investigation and cleanup of these sites at a cost of over $14 million. The site was removed from the EPA’s National Priorities List on February 6, 2001.
The EPA reviews the site every five years to confirm that the cleanup remains protective of public health and the environment. Periodic reviews are conducted because hazardous substances remain at the site under the protective soil or clay caps at levels that would exceed certain types of land use. The EPA completed Five-Year Reviews in 1997, 2002, 2007 and 2012. The next Five-Year Review will be completed in 2017.
In the current Five-Year Review Report (June 14, 2012), the EPA determined that the University’s cleanup in 1994 continues to function as intended and is protective of human health and the environment in the short term. To ensure long-term protectiveness of the cleanup, the EPA has asked that the University provide additional information and complete further, limited testing to define the extent and magnitude of the remaining impact to soil. The University will be discussing these requests with EPA staff, and will take appropriate steps to complete the requested activities.
View past reports: