Minnesota Brownfields News 
Construction Industry Conference
February 6, Bloomington
More info here

Brownfield Grant Workshop
Hosted by MNDEED & Metropolitan Council
Over $8M in grants and loans available
March 6, Plymouth
More info here  

Soil Reuse 2.0 Forum
Hosted by Minnesota Brownfields
More info below    
2014 Minnesota Brownfields ReScape Awards
October 23, St. Paul  
Minnesota News
National News
Thank You Members & Sponsors

Quick Notes

The METRO Green Line LRT linking downtown Mpls & St. Paul begins operation on June 14.

Duluth's Canal Park Brewery, a ReScape Award winner, was named the 2013 Redevelopment Project of the Year by the Economic Development Assn of Minnesota.  Drink local beer!  



New Community Health Brownfield Grant Opportunity
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is offering a new brownfield funding opportunity for two communities through its Community Health Projects (CHP) related to contamination at Brownfield sites. The letter of intent deadline is February 19; full application deadline is March 19. To learn more and access the application package: 
1. Go to: www.grants.gov  
2. Select: "Applicants"
3. Select: "Apply for Grants"
4. Select: "Download a Grant Application Package"
5. Type in the Funding Opportunity Number, formatted as: CDC-RFA-TS14-1404

Brownfield Grants Power Minnesota Communities
Minnesota grantors team up on February 6 to showcase their grant programs funding assessment, cleanup and redevelopment activities. Event details above. One of those grantors, the Metropolitan Council, approved $4M in Livable Communities Tax Base Revitalization Account (TBRA) grants for investigation and cleanup. Details on specific projects receiving funds here. Another grantor, Hennepin County, approved over $1.4M in Environmental Response Fund (ERF) grants for 11 different projects, including a $150,000 grant to Minnesota Brownfields for the Brownfield Gap Financing Program. See the full list of projects receiving ERF grants here

Capitol MN "Unsession" Holds Potential Impact for Brownfields
The Minneso
ta Legislature opens the 2014 Session on February 25. Expectations are mixed for the so-called Unsession given the significant logistical challenges posed by renovations. The Economic Development Association of MN (EDAM) recently released their 2014 legislative platform. Among EDAM's priorities benefitting redevelopment: changes to streamline and enhance tax-increment financing (TIF) and $3M in funding for the MN Department of Employment & Economic Development's Redevelopment Grant Program.   


St. Paul Port Authority Acquires Downtown Macy's Site      Macys

Last week the Saint Paul Port Authority acquired the now-vacant St. Paul Macy's department store and adjacent parking garage for $3 million. "We want to ensure that the Macy's site will be the new home of a vibrant development that fits the character of Saint Paul," Port President Louie Jambois said, adding that the Port will take its time in deciding whether to demolish the approximately 500,000-square foot, six-story building and adjacent parking structure or retrofit it. "Our ultimate decision will be market driven." Read more here


MPCA logo State Brownfield Application Updated
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Brownfields Program now has a new version of the Brownfield Application (http://tinyurl.com/oozwhpw)
that incorporates the former Cooperative Cleanup Memorandum (CCM) into the application within Section B. New applications will no longer need to include a separate CCM document. Previous versions of the application will no longer be processed as of February 28, 2014. Questions?  Please contact Stacey Van Patten at 651-757-2425 or Andrew Nichols at 651-757-2612.

Soil Reuse Study Update
Following review and comments from a group of key stakeholders, Minnesota Brownfields is finalizing work on a report analyzing the potential for cost savings of soil reuse associated with brownfield redevelopment sites. Getting access to data on precise disposal costs for moderately contaminated soil proved more challenging and time-consuming than expected. Our thanks to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the many developers and environmental consultants who have assisted with the study thus far, If you receive this newsletter, you can expect to see a draft report sometime in March. In April, we'll hold a forum focused on the study's findings and recommendations.  More news soon! 

RecoPillsbury Ard Year for Minneapolis Construction Building Permits   

The City of Minneapolis set a record in 2013 for construction building permits, issuing over 12,000 building permits with a total valuation of over $1.2 billion.
The top 2013 construction projects by building permit valuation in Minneapolis were all housing projects. Read the full release here. In related news, Minneapolis Community Planning & Economic Development (CPED) is hiring a new Director of Housing Development and Policy, who will manage and provide leadership in implementing CPED housing policies and objectives.       



U.S. Borax to pay $1.25 million for Arsenic Contamination Cleanup

U.S. Borax Inc. has agreed to pay $1.25 million and a penalty of $25,000 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a massive cleanup of arsenic contamination at more than 700 residential properties in south Minneapolis. The agreement is part of a consent decree that must be approved by a court. Incidentally, the Superfund site is located adjacent to the Greenway office building, where Minnesota Brownfields office is located.  Read more here.   




January's newsletter referred to the Arden Hills 427-acre former TCAAP site as the state's largest Superfund site. Our sources in Duluth note that the distinction actually belongs to Duluth's two Superfund sites, the 252-acre St. Louis River/Interlake/Duluth Tar site and the 550-acre U.S. Steel site, which are considered a combined site (of over 800 acres) by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.  





Federal Omnibus Appropriations Bill Released   
Last month, Congress released a the $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014.

The bill include increases to the USDOT's TIGER grant and to HUD's Community Development Block Grant programs, while holding constant funding for the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Brownfields program. Smart Growth America's National Brownfields Coalition shares more information

Commentary on Changes to All Appropriate Inquiries Rule and Vapor Intrusion  
Last month the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule in the Federal Register (78 FR 79319) recognizing the new ASTM E1527-13 phase 1 standard practice as an
approved method for complying with the All Appropriate Inquires (AAI) rule. The Center for Public Environmental Oversight's Brownfields Digest forwarded a blog post about the specter of retroactive liability for past phase 1 reports that didn't assess vapor intrusion. Read more.

ITRC Online Training Opportunities
February 20 - Green & Sustainable Remediation
February 27 - Groundwater Statistics for Environmental Project Managers


Massachusetts Sees Brownfields Legislation as Key to Transit-Oriented Development 
A recent Boston Globe editorial argues on behalf of continued state investment in cleanup and redevelopment, which has spurred reinvestment in Boston and throughout the Commonwealth. "Brownfields are largely concentrated in cities and are often located near the rail lines that served industry before they served commuters - exactly where sustainable residential development should be focused, instead of in sprawling suburbs." Read more here

The Business Case for Smart Growth

A report issued recently by the EPA outlines the benefits of smart growth, including increased productivity and innovation, improved ability to compete for labor and stronger retail sales, all of which make a strong case for increased federal brownfield redevelopment and funding. Read more.     




Minnesota Brownfields work is largely made possible through the generous contributions of our members. Individual memberships are available starting at $25/year, but a contribution at any level helps pay for this monthly e-newsletter and other publications. Donate now.

Thanks to those named below for becoming Redevelopment, Remediation or RAP Development level members, renewing membership at those levels, or for sponsoring our events in the past 12 months:

  • American Engineering Testing
  • American National Bank 
  • Barr Engineering Company
  • Bay West 
  • Braun Intertec Corporation
  • Carlson McCain
  • Central Iron Range Initiative  
  • City of Duluth/DEDA 
  • Jon Carlson
  • Dominium 
  • Economic Development Association of Minnesota 
  • Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.
  • Gray Plant Mooty
  • Halleland Habicht 
  • Hillcrest Development, LLLP  
  • Historical Information Gatherers
  • Hyde Development, LLC
  • Impact 7G
  • Javelin Group
  • Landmark Environmental, LLC
  • LHB Inc. 
  • Liesch  
  • Loucks Associates
  • Metropolitan Council
  • Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • The Opus Group   
  • Parkway Law
  • Peer Engineering
  • Saint Paul Port Authority
  • Sherman Associates
  • Stinson Leonard Street 
  • Stoel Rives
  • TKDA 
  • Western Bank
  • Xcel Energy      
Through education, research and partnerships, Minnesota Brownfields promotes the efficient cleanup and reuse of contaminated land as a means of generating economic growth,
strengthening communities and enabling sustainable land use and development.