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Region 05

CHICAGO (Sept. 14, 2021) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the Arrowhead Refinery Co. Superfund site in Hermantown, Minnesota, has been deleted from the Superfund National Priorities List, or NPL. The agency has determined that cleanup is now complete and no further action is necessary other than continued site inspections, land and groundwater use restrictions and five-year reviews.

“Removing the Arrowhead Refinery Co. Superfund site from the National Priorities List is a big win for all those who live and work in Hermantown,” said acting EPA Region 5 Administrator Cheryl Newton. “It also clearly demonstrates EPA’s commitment to cleaning up contaminated sites to protect public health and the environment.”

“The City of Hermantown is grateful to the property owner, MPCA and EPA for their commitment to the remediation of this former Superfund site that is located within our city boundaries,” said Hermantown City Administrator John Mulder. “We believe this private-public partnership will result in the successful redevelopment of the site that is consistent with Hermantown’s economic development goals of job creation and enhanced tax base.” 

From 1945 to 1977, the company’s former refining operation generated a waste stream of highly acidic, metal-laden sludge which was disposed of in an unlined two-acre lagoon at the site. Wastewater was discharged into a ditch in a wetland area. In 1976, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency ordered the Arrowhead Refinery Co. to discontinue disposal of wastes at the site. In 1980, EPA performed preliminary site investigations and the site was added to the NPL in 1984. Site cleanup involved:

  • Excavation, treatment and off-site disposal of sludge and filter cake
  • Excavation and off-site disposal of soils and sediments
  • Groundwater extraction and treatment

Long-term stewardship will continue to maintain institutional controls, site security and ensure future land use is consistent with the cleanup. Superfund law requires five-year reviews following cleanups to ensure the remedy continues to effectively protect human health and the environment. A proposed or final deletion does not prevent future actions under the Superfund law.

The NPL tracks the nation’s most contaminated sites that threaten human health or the environment. Sites on the list are eligible for cleanup under the Superfund program and once all the remedies are successfully implemented, EPA removes sites or parts of sites from the list.

EPA proposed the site for deletion on May 14, 2021 and did not receive any comments on this proposal during the 30-day public comment period.

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Author: Editor
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