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Boise Cascade/Onan/Medtronics Superfund Site

Site Information

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  • Fridley, MN (Anoka County)
  • EPA ID# MND006481543
  • NPL Factsheet
  • Superfund Site Progress Profile
  • Alias(es): Old National Pole; Formerly National Pole Treating Co.; Boise Cascade/Onan Corp./Medronics, Inc.; Boise Cascade/Onan Medtronics

Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Teresa Jones (jones.teresa@epa.gov)
312-886-0725 or 800-621-8431, ext. 60725

Remedial Project Manager

Gladys Beard (beard.gladys@epa.gov)
312-886-7253 or 800-621-8431, ext. 67253


The Boise Cascade/Onan/Medtronics site covers 183 acres in Fridley, Minnesota. The National Pole and Treating Company and later the Minnesota and Ontario Paper Company treated wood from 1921 until 1961 at this location. Operations at the site first used creosote to treat wood for railroad ties and utility poles. The company began using pentachlorophenol (PCP) to treat its wood products in 1958 and continued this practice until 1961, when all operations stopped. In 1965, the Minnesota and Ontario Paper Company was purchased and merged into the Boise Cascade Company. Approximately 3,000 people live within one mile of the site. Several residences are located within 500 feet of the site. Two elementary schools and several small urban parks were located within one mile of the site at the time of the investigation. Groundwater contamination from the site was a major concern because the cities of Fridley and Moundsview use water drawn from municipal wells located near the site.

This site was addressed through federal, state, and PRP actions. The EPA detected high levels of organics, including creosote and phenols, in on-site groundwater monitoring wells, sediments, and soils. Long-term groundwater monitoring continues. The monitoring indicates the contaminant plume is decreasing in lateral and vertical extent. No known drinking water wells that are impacted by the contaminant plume.

On the Onan property, the work included: (1) a slurry wall containment system was constructed around the former retort building into which excavated contaminated soil was placed; (2) a cap was constructed over the area surrounded by the slurry wall; (3) dewatering; and (4) treatment of the water prior to discharge. On the Medtronic property, where two wastewater lagoons had been operated, contaminated soils were excavated and disposed of off-site. Groundwater that was in contact and directly beneath contaminated soil was collected, treated, and discharged. About 5,000 gallons of oil was collected and disposed of off-site. For both properties, long-term groundwater monitoring was undertaken. Work was completed in 1986 and the site was deleted from the National Priorities List in early 1995. However, this site has not been delisted from the permanent List of Priorities, or PLP – the state of Minnesota’s Superfund list. Ground water monitoring will continue into the future. Brownfield redevelopment at the site will continue to have MPCA oversee remedial activities.

For information about other sites in Fridley visit the Fridley Area Superfund Site page.

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Site Updates

January 2013 Update

Community Advisory Group Informational Session

EPA staff will host two CAG informational sessions (PDF) (1pg, 24MB) for Fridley residents on January 30, 2013. the first session will be held in room 109 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The second session will be held in the same room from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The workshop will give people a thorough overview of the CAG formation process.

CAGs give interested people an opportunity to participate in EPA’s Superfund process to clean up hazardous waste areas. At these upcoming sessions, EPA staff will provide information on how to form a CAG and choose its members. CAG membership is voluntary and participants should be willing to serve two-year terms. CAGs meet regularly to review site information and relay community views and concerns to the EPA. All CAG meetings are open to the public, and public input is encouraged. More information about CAGs.

If you have any questions or need special accommodations at this event contact EPA Community Involvement Coordinator Nefertiti DiCosmo 312-886-66148 or at dicosmo.nefertiti@epa.gov.

Community Interviews (December 2012)

EPA conducted 41 community interviews with Fridley area residents in December. Interviews were done one-on-one, with small groups, and over the telephone. From the interviews EPA will write a Community Involvement Plan. The plan is a road map for the EPA’s future involvement with the Fridley sites. It is a valuable resource for the citizens because it provides a description of the community involvement activities available to the public. It will be updated as necessary to remain consistent with the community’s needs.

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