The former Woodbury disposal site is located on County Highway 19 (Woodbury Drive) approximately between Dale Road and 70th Street. Most of the site lies within the city limits of Woodbury except for the southern portion of the property which is in Cottage Grove. All historical waste disposal activities took place on the property located in Woodbury.
In 1960, the property was owned by a private party who began hauling waste to the site. Waste from 3M’s plants in St. Paul and Cottage Grove was sent to the site between 1960 and 1966 and consisted of solvents and other industrial materials. The site also received municipal waste from Woodbury Township and the Village of Cottage Grove until 1969.
In 1961, 3M purchased the portions of the property that included the disposal areas and over time purchased additional nearby property. The approximate area of the entire site is now 656 acres and the former disposal areas measure about 40 acres.
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In 1966, solvents were detected following groundwater sampling of on-site wells and some nearby residential wells. 3M ceased all disposal activities and developed an action plan and a groundwater monitoring program.
In 1968, 3M installed a barrier well system to collect groundwater at varying depths beneath the site. The barrier well system was completed in 1973 and consists of four wells that capture groundwater beneath the site. This well system remains in operation today and the water is pumped to 3M Cottage Grove where it is used in manufacturing operations at the site. Use and discharge of this water is governed by permits issued by the State of Minnesota.
Previous remedial activities at the site also involved the burning of solvent waste to reduce the volume of solvents at the site and the installation of a soil cap over the former disposal areas. Both of these activities were conducted with the approval of the MPCA.
In 2005, the site monitoring plan was expanded to include perfluorochemicals (PFCs). 3M conducted sampling of the barrier well system and PFCs were detected at low levels. The company followed up with an expanded groundwater monitoring plan and in early 2007 installed additional monitoring wells around the perimeter of the site. This was done with the involvement and approval of the MPCA. The data from these wells indicate the barrier well system is effective in capturing the solvents and PFCs in groundwater at the site.
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In 2007, 3M signed a Settlement Agreement and Consent Order with the MPCA regarding the Woodbury site (and two other former disposal areas in the East Metro). The Consent Order established a process for 3M to submit data reports (known as remedial investigations or RI) to the State and proposed work plans to manage PFCs that may be present at each site. The work plans are called feasibility studies (FS). The RI and FS for Woodbury have been submitted and the documents can be reviewed at the Woodbury Public Library.
3M and the MPCA have each held public meetings on the cleanup alternatives to address the presence of PFCs. The meetings were to solicit public input during the planning phase and then at the MPCA meeting, inform the public of the cleanup plan selected for Woodbury. The MPCA's decision for Woodbury is contained in the following document:
Reference: Minnesota Decision Document (PDF, 1.2 MB)
The cleanup plan for Woodbury will primarily involve soil removal from two distinct former disposal areas. Physical work in the former Main Disposal area will begin in the summer of 2009 and the removal work from the Northeast Disposal area will occur in the 2010 construction season. Already in place at the site is a soil vapor extraction system which is to address the presence of solvent underground. These vapors are not related to PFCs. The goal of the SVE system is to mitigate the relase of solvent vapors during soil removal.
On an ongoing basis residents can submit their comments to 3M by:
3M Environmental Communications
St. Paul, MN 55144-1000