Urban Infill – Jay Street Gas Holder

The City of Duluth, Minnesota · 2013-2014


The property known as the Jay Street Gas Holder is currently owned by the City of Duluth, which plans to redevelop the property for residential uses. Bay West was retained by the City of Duluth to provide consulting services under a DEED grant through its Contamination Cleanup and Investigation Grant Program. The property appears to have been first developed as a gas holder in approximately 1923 and operated until approximately 1960 when it was demolished and potentially partially buried on the property. The boiler building appeared to remain at the property until approximately the early 2000s. The foundations for the gas holder and the associated boiler building remain at the property. The property is currently used as open space by local residents.



The Phase I ESA identified the potential for environmental contaminants including petroleum, ACM, lead-based paint, metals, volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds (including PAH), cyanide, and sulfide to remain at the site as a result of gas holder operations and
demolition activities.


Bay West hired a geophysics firm to conduct subsurface geophysics at the Site to identify potential buried debris and tanks. Bay West also advanced soil probes and test pits in areas of potential concern identified during the Phase I ESA. Bay West screened soil for lead in the field using an X-ray fluorescence (XRF) meter and collected soil, groundwater, soil gas, and suspect ACM samples for laboratory analysis. By using the XRF meter to collect field measurements of lead-impacted soil, Bay West was able to collect significantly more data than would have been economically feasible with only laboratory analysis for lead. Based on the Phase II results, we concluded that the primary concern is lead-impacted soil exceeding the residential screening criteria present around the former gas holder foundation.


Bay West key personnel prepared and submitted documentation to enroll the property into the MPCA VIC program to facilitate future redevelopment of the property. As part of the process, Bay West submitted a RAP to the MPCA which presents how soil will be screened, treated, managed, and disposed of prior to site redevelopment. Bay West also presented our proposed confirmation sampling methods and locations and prepared volume estimates and other critical information. Bay West used its extensive experience with the XRF meter to correlate field and laboratory data. Based on the field and lab data correlation, Bay West was able to refine the estimated amount of soil requiring removal, as well as the quantity of removed soil requiring treatment. The RAP was approved by the MPCA.


Key personnel assisted the City of Duluth in preparing DEED grant applications for both the Phase II Subsurface Investigation and the RAP Implementation; both grants were awarded to the city. Bay West also assisted with grant management and reporting.


Bay West attended a neighborhood meeting with the City of Duluth to present our findings, as well as to answer questions posed by local residents.

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