UHT Site Update

Upper Harbor Terminal Site – Results of Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessment and Initial Hazardous Materials Inspection

With the assistance of a grant from the Metropolitan Council, the City of Minneapolis contracted with Braun Intertec Corporation to complete Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments and an initial hazardous materials inspection for the City-owned Upper Harbor Terminal site. In coordination with this work, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board also contracted with Braun to complete the Phase II testing on the portion of the site most likely to be redeveloped for park use.

The good news is that nothing has been found as a result of these studies that would be expected to significantly hamper redevelopment of the site or increase the redevelopment cost in a significant manner.

The Phase I environmental site assessment looked at the entire site to identify any areas of potential concern that merited testing in Phase II. This included research into previous uses on the site, review of previous tests and reports that had been completed and gathering of information about the surrounding area that might impact the site. This study did not identify and “recognized environmental conditions,” with the exception of three fairly limited areas of “potential recognized environmental conditions.”

The Phase II environmental site assessment included a total (for both the development and park portions of the site) of 48 soil borings and ten temporary groundwater monitoring wells which then were tested for a variety of contaminants. 47 of these soil borings were on the portion of the site expected to be redeveloped for private use, and 21 of the borings were on the portion of the site expected to be redeveloped for park use. This testing found some small areas of concern, but nothing that appears to impact a large portion of the site or that will significantly complicate site redevelopment. No further environmental investigation was recommended at this time, although additional investigations will be needed once specific development plans can identify what portions of the site will be affected and in what manner.

An initial hazardous building materials inspection also was completed to determine if the structures on the site contain asbestos, lead-based paint or other materials of concern. Given the age of the structures, it is not surprising that it was determined that there are some materials that contain various levels of asbestos and lead-based paint. Therefore, the demolition and/or rehabilitation of the impacted structures will require standard asbestos and lead paint abatement, which will somewhat increase the cost, but not to a level that is expected to discourage redevelopment.

The information in these reports will be made available to potential developers to assist them in their evaluation of the site’s development potential.

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