Plating Facility Closure

Former Superior Plating Superfund Site - Minneapolis, MN


In the 1950s, Superior Plating was the largest plating facility in the Midwest. The plating facility closed several years ago and the remaining property was left a Superfund site, originally due to VOC and metal contamination in the soil and groundwater. The plating facility and later developers were responsible for most costs associated with site cleanup; however, the MPCA hired Bay West to provide additional technical support and third-party oversight. We have performed a wide variety of environmental activities for the MPCA at this site.

Project Scope

 Developed PFAS Groundwater Sampling Procedures
 Conducted Groundwater Sampling for PFAS
 Third-Party Contractor Oversight on behalf of Regulator
 Remediation System Modifications and Flexibility for PFAS
 Public Meeting Agenda and Presentation Development

Leachate Collection System

Bay West’s first involvement at the site was to provide emergency response activities associated with chromium-contaminated leachate in a nearby ditch. We cleaned up the material, evaluated the existing leachate collection system, and identified the design flaws in this temporary system. We designed system modifications to adequately capture contaminated leachate from the Site, then installed these modifications ourselves.

Site Development

Because the leachate was originally treated using equipment within the plating facility, a new system was necessary after the facility was demolished. During site development, Bay West worked with the developer and then designed and installed a permanent treatment system for the leachate. We also provided third-party oversight of various development activities on behalf of the MPCA.

Additional Investigation

Because the developer is not responsible for additional investigation or cleanup activities, Bay West began conducting groundwater monitoring of the site on behalf of the MPCA. PFAS compounds were commonly used in the plating industry as a fume suppressant, so we needed to begin investigating the solvent and metals groundwater plume area for PFAS. Our key field employees modified our sampling procedures originally developed for the Air Force to gain MPCA approval, then conducted groundwater sampling for PFAS using our dedicated Teflon-free sampling train, while wearing PFAS-free clothing. We submitted our samples to Pace Analytical. While PFAS does not yet carry a ch. NR 149 certification, Pace is a NR-149 certified laboratory.
PFAS was detected in the groundwater throughout the site vicinity. We are currently conducting groundwater monitoring of the site’s plume, which contains PFAS, solvents and metals.

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Jonna Bjelland, PE

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