Duluth Brownfield Inventory Assessment

Gary-New Duluth, Western Port Area Neighborhood, Lincoln Park/Rice's Point, MN


The City of Duluth retained Bay West to complete Limited Area-Wide Brownfield Inventories (AWBIs) in three select areas of the St. Louis River Corridor. These consisted of the following (collectively, the Study Areas): Gary-New Duluth, the Western Port Area Neighborhood (WPAN), and Lincoln Park/Rice’s Point. The Gary-New Duluth area consisted of approximately 1,322 acres, the WPAN area consisted of approximately 747 acres, and the Lincoln Park/Rice’s Point area consisted of approximately 1,214 acres.


The Study Areas were identified by the City of Duluth with the potential for revitalization and reuse, and were noted as having probable development challenges.

The AWBIs were completed using an EPA-funded grant. The assessments provide the development community with a baseline of environmental and development information that will facilitate real estate transfer and development decisions.


The purpose of the project was to review readily available current and historical documentation to identify properties in the Study Areas that could be considered Brownfields or potential blighted properties. The scope of services provided as part of the AWBIs consisted of the following:

Reviewed historical sources such as aerial photographs, fire insurance maps, city directories, and/or historic maps, as necessary, to research past uses and activities in each study area; Reviewed public information from regulatory agencies regarding regulated activities in each study area, and reviewed MPCA files to obtain additional information about the magnitude and extent of contamination and the regulatory status of properties within each study area;
Conducted a drive-by reconnaissance of each study area to document the present use and condition of the properties to identify environmental concerns (storage tanks, wells, hazardous chemical and/or petroleum product use and storage, indications of a release, waste management); Reviewed the geologic, hydrogeologic, and topographic conditions in each area; and
Classified potential sites of concern using the Land-Based Classification Standards (LBCS) model, and prepared summary description sheets for each potential site of concern.

The following potential sites of concern (current or historical non-residential land uses) were noted for the Study Areas:

Gary-New Duluth: 61 sites (18 of which appeared to meet the definition of a Brownfield)

WPAN: 228 sites (55 of which appeared to meet the definition of a Brownfield)
Lincoln Park/Rice’s Point: 490 sites (205 of which appeared to meet the definition of a Brownfield


Bay West recommended that a Phase I ESA be performed for any of the non-residential use sites if they are to be sold or redeveloped, and that a Phase II ESA is performed for the Brownfield sites to identify the presence or absence of contamination. Additionally, Bay West recommended that if contamination is identified in the soil and/or groundwater, interested parties consider entering into the MPCA Brownfield Programs.

Talk to an Expert

Have questions about our services? Meet our experts!

Hillary Weber, PG

Hillary Weber, PG

Director, Federal Programs (USACE, EPA)

_New Site - Talk to an Expert

We’re hiring! Join our team today.

Open Positions