Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: State alerts Mpls. neighborhood about underground vapors

Kelly likened the situation to a discovery of TCE and perchlorethylene (PCE) in a St. Louis Park neighborhood of 270 properties in 2007. No imminent health risks were found, but remediation systems were installed in 41 homes.

Reaction in the Como area was guarded Thursday.

“I’ll just wait to see what happens,” resident Mike Portwood said. “I’d like to do a little research before I jump on the paranoia wagon.”

Business owner Laura Curran said she didn’t know about the neighborhood’s history with General Mills or TCE. Her salon at Rollins and 15th Avenues SE. is at the corner of the testing area.

“Whatever the test says, we’ll deal with that,” she said. “As long as they don’t have to knock down my building.”

General Mills used the 6.5-acre site at 2010 E. Hennepin Av. as a technical center and laboratory for food research beginning in 1930, adding chemical research operations in 1947, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Disposal of solvents started on the south end of the property in 1947 and continued until 1962.

“This was the state of understanding at that time, that waste solvents, if you put them in a hole, they would go away. They would go to this place called away,” Neve said. “We learned decades later that there is no place called away.”

Discovery of the contamination occurred in 1981 after the 1977 sale of the site to Henkel Corp., a Connecticut-based producer of laundry, home and beauty care products.

General Mills’ cleanup efforts included the removal of contaminated soil on the property and groundwater testing in the neighborhood.


Staff writer Paul Walsh contributed to this report. • 612-673-7744 • 612-673-7329

  • related content

  • Original site of contamination

  • Video: Minneapolis neighborhood warned of potentially harmful vapors

    Thursday November 7, 2013

    Residents and businesses in a southeast Minneapolis neighborhood have been alerted by state health officials about “potentially harmful vapors”...

  • Sept. 17, 2007: The Longest Cleanup: Hunting the invisible

    Monday September 17, 2007

    It takes detective work to track the path of chemicals in groundwater. Sometimes, the mystery goes unsolved.

  • Sept. 18, 2007: The Longest Cleanup: A toxic well, a life changed

    Wednesday September 19, 2007

    Thirty-five years ago, three Perham, Minn., men drank contaminated well water. The last survivor still suffers its effects.

  • Sept. 16, 2007: The Longest Cleanup: Battling tainted water

    Monday September 17, 2007

    Across the metro, industrial chemicals have seeped into groundwater we drink. It's a stubborn, costly problem that will take decades to fix.

  • Laura Curran’s salon is one of the 200 buildings in the Como neighborhood set to be tested for potentially harmful vapors. She didn’t know of the area’s history.

  • community information meetings

    State health and pollution officials will brief Como neighborhood residents at two community meetings on Tuesday. They will be at Van Cleve Recreation Center, 12:30-3 p.m. and 5-8:30 p.m.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters






question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings draft selections

Weekly Question