March 2006

St. Regis Paper Superfund site cleanup progresses

Chicago, IL— International Paper began cleanup of up to 40 homes near the St. Regis Paper Superfund site in Cass Lake, Minnesota in early February. The project will be completed under EPA oversight.

EPA announced the plan in October 2005 to clean up and control contaminated dust tracked into homes near the site. At each home, IP contractors will replace carpets, remove and dry clean drapes, vacuum and wet-wipe surfaces and clean duct systems. In addition, contaminated topsoil around the homes will be covered with clean fill and seeded in the spring, with the removed material sent to the Onyx FCR Landfill in Wright County.

Following the initial cleanups, IP crews will return for periodic follow-up cleanings until a permanent remedy is initiated at the site. A dust suppressant will also be applied to unpaved roads near the site starting in May.

The St. Regis Superfund site was a wood treatment facility that operated from about 1958 to 1985. The site was initially cleaned up in the 1980s by its former owner, Champion International. IP is the current property owner and continues to treat ground water from the site. Later reviews of the 1980s cleanup showed that additional sampling and a risk assessment were needed. In 2004, EPA ordered IP to sample dust in houses near the site as part of the risk assessment. Results showed a long-term risk from site-related contaminants, primarily arsenic and dioxin.


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