With cleanup complete, officials look to future
Community members gathered to celebrate Wednesday as elected officials announced that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has officially issued a Certificate of Completion for cleanup efforts on Rice Creek Commons, the site of the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant. The 427-acre site – the largest contaminated site in Minnesota – went through the MPCA’s Brownfield Program.
“Redevelopment of Rice Creek Commons is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revitalize hundreds of acres of long-dormant land in the heart of the Twin Cities, and at the same time add good-paying jobs in Minnesota,” said Congresswoman Betty McCollum. “The Rice Creek Commons project will bring significant benefits to our residents, our visitors, our businesses, and most importantly our entire region, and I am excited to look forward as the area begins to take shape.”
Ramsey County cleaned the soil to residential standards in November 2015, and 93% of the concrete, metal, and other materials removed from the site during demolition were recycled or reused. With the cleanup complete, officials are focusing on Rice Creek Commons’ future as a vibrant mixed-use residential, retail, and business district.
“Since 1942, the TCAAP site has been a central piece in Ramsey County’s history,” said Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman. “We are so thrilled to announce the completion of cleanup, and to turn our focus to its future as we begin the work to return the site to its status as an economic engine for our region.”
“Cleaning up contaminated land and putting it back into productive use is good for the environment and local communities,” said MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine. “Ramsey County has shown tremendous leadership by cleaning up this large, valuable property, and we are proud to have supported their efforts through our Brownfield Program.”
The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to officially delist soil at the site from its Superfund list in 2017. The U.S. Army will continue to operate the existing groundwater cleanup system for many years to come.