Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

GENERAL MILLS/HENKEL CORP.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN

Redevelopment

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About the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative

This nationally coordinated effort provides EPA and its partners with a process to return Superfund sites to productive use. Learn more at Superfund Redevelopment Initiative.

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Redevelopment at the Site

Currently, buildings on site provide space for several dozen small businesses.

A private investment group purchased the General Mills/Henkel Corp. Superfund site and worked to transform the formerly contaminated site into a business incubator enterprise development program to support over 130 start-up businesses. For more than 45 years, General Mills operated a technical research facility on the 6.5-acre site in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. The facility discharged about 1,000 gallons of laboratory chemicals each year directly into an on-site pit. The chemicals contaminated soil and groundwater at the site. In 1984, EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL). EPA delegated authority to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to oversee site cleanup activities. The site’s potentially responsible party (PRP) conducted cleanup activities, including groundwater treatment and long-term monitoring, under MPCA’s oversight. BBD Holdings, Inc., a private investment group, purchased the site in 1989 and converted the existing buildings into a business area that supports the startup and growth of local small businesses. This business development program continues to play a significant role in the community's development by providing business opportunities to local residents and attracting other entrepreneurs and families to the area. A variety of businesses currently operate at the site. An extensive program of vapor intrusion mitigation and long-term groundwater monitoring are ongoing.

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Economic Activity at the Site

As of December 2016, EPA had data on 55 on-site businesses. These businesses employed 174 people and generated an estimated $17,459,579 in annual sales revenue. For additional information click here.

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Activity and Use Limitations

At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup. For more background, see Institutional Controls.

Groundwater is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), primarily trichloroethylene (TCE).  Soil was also previously contaminated with VOCs.

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