Former Gopher Ordinance Works : Rosemount, Dakota County, Minnesota EPA Facility ID: MND980613780
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Former Gopher Ordinance Works : Rosemount, Dakota County, Minnesota EPA Facility ID: MND980613780

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      Public comment release; comment period ends: November 17, 2014.

      Prepared by Minnesota Department of Health, Environmental Health Division under Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

      This Public Health Assessment-Public Comment Release was prepared by ATSDR pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) section 104 (i)(6) (42 U.S.C. 9604 (i)(6), and in accordance with our implementing regulations (42 C.F.R. Part 90). In preparing this document, ATSDR’s Cooperative Agreement Partner has collected relevant health data, environmental data, and community health concerns from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), state and local health and environmental agencies, the community, and potentially responsible parties, where appropriate. This document represents the agency’s best efforts, based on currently available information, to fulfill the statutory criteria set out in CERCLA section 104 (i)(6) within a limited time frame. To the extent possible, it presents an assessment of potential risks to human health. Actions authorized by CERCLA section 104 (i)(11), or otherwise authorized by CERCLA, may be undertaken to prevent or mitigate human exposure or risks to human health. In addition, ATSDR’s Cooperative Agreement Partner will utilize this document to determine if follow-up health actions are appropriate at this time.

      This document has now been released for a 60-day public comment period. Subsequent to the public comment period, ATSDR’s Cooperative Agreement Partner will address all public comments and revise or append the document as appropriate. The public health assessment will then be reissued. This will conclude the public health assessment process for this site, unless additional information is obtained by ATSDR’s Cooperative Agreement Partner which, in the agency’s opinion, indicates a need to revise or append the conclusions previously issued.

      The Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) mission is to protect, maintain, and improve the health of all Minnesotans. For communities living near state or federal Superfund sites, MDH’s goal is to provide health information the community needs to take actions to protect their health. MDH also evaluates environmental data, and advises state and local governments on actions that can be taken to protect public health.

      The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) asked the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to review environmental data for the former Gopher Ordnance Works (GOW) site and evaluate potential public health concerns.

      The former GOW site, located in the City of Rosemount in Dakota County, Minnesota was constructed and operated by the federal government during World War II for the production of smokeless gunpowder and nitric and sulfuric acids. Following decontamination and demolition activities by the federal government, portions of the site were purchased by the University of Minnesota in 1947‐1948. Since that time, the property has been used for a variety of purposes by the University and their tenants. As a result of the historic uses of the property, physical and chemical hazards are present at the site, which have been evaluated in a series of site investigations starting in the 1980s.

      Extensive redevelopment is planned for much of the site; as development proceeds, additional environmental data will need to be collected to ensure the safety of the property for future use. Many data gaps currently exist, due in part to the large acreage of the site.

      This document summarizes and catalogs information about the residual soil and groundwater contamination in Rosemount, Minnesota, at the former GOW site. It is written for multiple stakeholders who may be concerned about current exposures and/or future development of the property. The residents of Rosemount and nearby areas, the City of Rosemount, Dakota County, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the University of Minnesota, and future residents and occupants of the site have varying interests in the site information.

      This report reviews the environmental data and relevant site history from a large number of documents to provide recommendations and assist with future response action and development decisions.

      MDH reached five major conclusions in this Public Health Assessment of the former Gopher Ordnance Works site

      1. MDH concluded that physical hazards are the most important public health hazard on the site.

      2. MDH concluded that contaminated surface soil in some areas of the site pose a public health hazard.

      3. MDH concluded that contaminated soils in some areas of the site pose an indeterminate public health hazard.

      4. MDH concluded that some areas of the site have not had adequate investigation to evaluate whether a public health hazard exists.

      5. MDH concluded that groundwater poses an indeterminate public health hazard.

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