Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

AGATE LAKE SCRAPYARD
FAIRVIEW TOWNSHIP, MN

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The 8-acre Agate Lake Scrap Yard site is located in Fairview Township in Cass County, Minnesota, on the southwest shore of Agate Lake. The Agate Lake Scrap Yard operated from 1952 to 1982 as scrap yard for scrap iron and metal, including many transformers. Facility operations contaminated soil and groundwater with hazardous chemicals. Following cleanup, EPA took the site off the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1997.

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What Is Being Done to Clean Up the Site?

The site was addressed through State of Minnesota and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions. The site is part of EPA's Enforcement Deferral Pilot Project. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) was the primary agency managing cleanup of the site. Several five year reviews have been conducted at the site. The final review, conducted in 2001, documented that the remedy remained protective of human health and the environment and that no further reviews were required because hazardous wastes were removed from the site and groundwater no longer exceeded health-based levels.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

Major cleanup of the site was conducted as interim actions prior to the remedy decision. The early actions included removal of lead-contaminated ash, slag and soil, and removal of other contaminated soil and asbestos-containing pipe insulation. In 1983, before EPA listed the site on the NPL, the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs) also removed transformers containing oil and drums of waste solvents and liquids from the site. Two furnaces were also dismantled and about 300 cubic yards of contaminated soil were excavated from the main transformer storage area. Areas where soils had been removed were backfilled with six inches of clean topsoil, and seeded.

The site’s final remedy included ongoing groundwater monitoring, installation of additional monitoring wells, deed restrictions prohibiting drinking water well installation, a health risk advisory, and removal of remaining garbage, iron and other scrap. Groundwater monitoring was conducted until 1997 when results showed that groundwater contamination levels were below health-based goals. Following cleanup, EPA took the site off the NPL in 1997.

 

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EPA’s Involvement at the Site

Cleanup of the site was managed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) under an agreement with EPA known as the Enforcement Deferral Pilot Project. The site was addressed through State and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions. 

In 1983, several responsible parties removed transformers and contaminated surface soil from the site. In 1985, MPCA performed an initial remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS). In 1987, responsible parties removed additional solid wastes and scrap metal. Following additional investigations in 1991-1992, EPA and MPCA recommended removal of an additional 260 tons of lead-contaminated ash, slag and soils; removal of 200 tons of soil contaminated with PCBs  These actions were conducted in 1992 and 1993 as an MPCA Interim Response Action. 

In 1994, MPCA issued a remedy decision (ROD) including long-term groundwater monitoring and deed restrictions to control use of groundwater at the site. In 1997, an EPA report documented that natural attenuation of groundwater had reduced PCE concentrations below health risk levels. Groundwater monitoring was discontinued in 1997, and institutional controls were placed on property records also in 1997.

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Sampling and Monitoring

  

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