Itasca EcoIndustrial Park
Location: 502 County Road 63, Grand Rapids
Nominated by: Braun Intertec
Prior to 1972 the site was vacant and wooded land. Starting in the 1970s, the site included a 423,000 sq ft manufacturing facility with associated offices, parking and storage areas until 2006 when the equipment was removed from the site, though most of the buildings remained. The manufacturing facility produced oriented-strand board (OSB), bringing in 100 trucks of logs on site daily. The logs were stored then moved into log ponds where they were submerged in water, which was circulated through part of the wood wafer drying system’s pollution control equipment. The log ponds were covered with wood and insulation in the fall of 2006 and bark was piled along the exterior pond walls for additional insulation. As the logs were moved by chain driven equipment, water and sediment accumulating in the ponds was petroleum-contaminated. In addition, used oils from other parts of the facility were pumped to the log ponds. A large open area at the southern end of the property was originally a bark landfill, which was discontinued in the 1980s. The site was abandoned since 2006.
In 2009, the Itasca Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) purchased the site. Along with the property came an enormous responsibility for cleaning up equipment, process chemicals and oils, and soil remediation.
The site is listed on Brownfields, state underground storage tank, Solid Waste Facility/Landfill, Leaking Aboveground Storage Tank, Spills, AIRS, and Tier 2 (related to process chemicals) databases. Friable asbestos and peeling lead-based paint, a diesel AST and pump associated with mobile equipment refueling, AST (diesel, used oil, antifreeze, and acidics), six 55-gallon drums of waste, three 55-gallon drums of soy based ink, one 55-gallon drum of paint, 10-gallons of glycol, numerous smaller containers of paints and household cleaners, and 20 empty drums all were removed from the site.
In 2012, all of the manufacturing equipment was removed from the Site and soil remediation and other site preparation activities were conducted. The work to date could not have been completed without the immense support of the Grand Rapids community and numerous funding partners.
The site is not currently in use, though a purchase agreement has been secured with J.M. Longyear, ensuring great potential for an active facility creating many much needed local jobs. The removal of the blighted and decaying site is anticipated to positively impact the surrounding community and economy.
$ 706,000 Total Remediation
Funding Sources: MNDEED, Metropolitan Council and Ramsey County ERF
$ 2,300,000 Total Redevelopment
- White Bear Township EDA
- Tecweigh Industries
- Metropolitan Council TBRA
- Ramsey County ERF
- Peer Engineering, Inc.
- Carl Bolander & Sons
- MPCA VIC & PB Programs