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The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Air Reserve Station (MSP IAP ARS) is partof theMinneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Complex in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Baseactivities include logistical support for the 934th Airlift Wing and training drills for the Air ForceReserves. As part of the Installation Restoration Program (IRP), a Department of Defenseinitiative, the Air Force identified 16 potentially contaminated sites. An additional site wasidentified during the removal of an underground storage tank bringing the total number of sites to17.

The history and status of 12 of the 17 sites are summarized in Appendix A. These sites havebeenlisted as "no further action required" or as "closed" by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. In general, Minnesota Department of Health concurs with this classification for these areas. IRPSites 1,4,5,7 and the JP-4 Spill Site are the focus of this document.

IRP Site 1, Small Arms Range Landfill (SARL), was placed on the U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency's (EPA) National Priorities List (NPL) in 1987 due to suspected releases togroundwater entering the Mississippi River. The site was used for the disposal of general baserefuse and industrial wastes, including paint and aviation gasoline sludges. The site has beencapped and is fenced thereby limiting human contact or exposure with remainingwastes andgroundwater contamination. The heavy metal contamination (Appendix B) in groundwater is nota health hazard becausethere are no down gradient wells, and concentrations aregreatly dilutedin the Mississippi River. The remedial response for this site is natural attenuation.

IRP Sites 4 (motor gas spill) and 5 (petroleum, oil and lubricant spill) were combined becauseoftheir spacial proximity to each other, but are counted individually toward the total of 17 sites. The groundwater at the site is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (trichloroethylene,benzene and vinyl chloride) and lead (Appendix B). Human contact or exposure is not likelyunder the present conditions because most of the site is covered with pavement or buildings, andsmall grassy areas, and there are no drinking water wells down gradient. The remedial responsefor this site is natural attenuation.

IRP Site 7 (aviation spill) consisted of five underground petroleum, oil, and lubricant storagetanks; four of which are currently used for the storage of heating fuel oil. One tank has beenremoved. Originally the tanks were used as an aviation gasoline storage and dispensing system. An estimated 5,000 gallons of aviation gasoline have been released at the site through spills, leaks,and the use of a dry well/waste pit that were all part of the fueling system. A groundwaterremediation system (air stripper) has been in operation since October 1991. To date, theremediation system has removed approximately 5,129 gallons of volatile organic compounds (freeproduct) from the groundwater. Groundwater contamination remains, (Appendix B) but is not ahealth hazard, because no one is being exposed. Because of high pumping rates and geologicalconditions at Site 7, the pump and treat system appears to be influencing the JP-4 Spill Sitegroundwater.

At the JP-4 (jet fuel) Spill Site, groundwater contamination (Appendix B) is within 100 yardsofthe base's northern border and could potentially migrate to nearby residential wells. A wellreceptor survey was conducted in 1997 for this residential area and no wells were found. Thewell receptor survey compared home construction dates with water main installation dates todetermine if any homes predated city water service. In other words, if a home predated watermain installation the home probably had a well. The 8 homes that predated water main installationwere sent letters inquiring about the presence of a well on the property, its water use(domestic/non-domestic), and status (active/inactive) of any wells. The County Well Index (welllocation data base) was also used for the well receptor survey.

The pump and treat system at Site 7 appears to be capturing the groundwater plume at the JP-4Spill Site. It is not clear whether or not the plume will migrate off base if the pump and treatsystem were to be turned off. Soil vapor gas migration needs to be considered before apermanent decision is made to discontinue the pump and treat system.

Based on available information, MDH concludes that the MSP IAP ARS sites pose no apparent public health hazard under current conditions since there is no indications that people are beingexposed to site-related contaminants. Accessto all sites at MSP IAP ARS property are limited,there are no known well receptors, and surface areas at most of the groundwater sites are pavedor covered with buildings. The potential for soil vapor gas to migrate into buildings on base iscurrently being evaluated.


This public health assessment evaluates potential exposures to contaminants found at theMinneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Air Reserve Station ( MSP IAP ARS). This documentexamines exposure to contaminated media (water, air and soil),transport mechanisms, and routesof exposure (ingestion,inhalation and dermal contact), to determinethe likelihood of individualsbeing exposed to contamination. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) project files, MSPIAP ARS project files, and documents provided to Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) bythe U.S. Air Force, were reviewed, and along with a site visit, form the basis for this public healthassessment. Health effects that might be associated with any exposures are also discussed.


A. Site Description and History

MSP IAP ARS encompasses 284 acres, and is part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul InternationalAirport Complex (MSPIAC) in Hennepin County, Minnesota. The MSPIAC is mostly flat andincludes the main commercial airport for the Twin Cities, along with Air National Guard, Navyand Army installations. MSPIAC consists of an upland area and a bottom (flood plain) area. Theupland is relatively flat, sloping towards the Minnesota river with elevation ranging between800-850 feet above mean sea level. The upland and flood plain are separated by a steep slope ofapproximately 80 feet. The 100 year flood plain is approximately 690 to 730 feet above mean sealevel.

Activities at the MSP IAP ARS, including vehicle and machinery maintenance and logisticalmissions support resulted in the use, storage, and disposal of hazardous substances. Variousmaintenance shops have generated varying quantities of fuels, spent solvents, cleaners, and paintwastes. Past storage and disposal practices have resulted in environmental contamination at siteson MSP IAP ARS. This health assessment will examine 17 sites on Air Force property that wereidentified as potential hazardous waste sites by the Air Force during previous investigations. Twelve of these sites were identified under the Installation Restoration Program (IRP) andimplemented by the Department of Defense (DOD) to address environmental health issues atmilitary installations as a result of past waste management practices. The history and status of 12of the 17 sites are summarized in Appendix A. These sites have been listed as "no further actionrequired" or "closed" by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). MDH concurs withthis classification for these sites. For this reason these areas are not discussed further in thisreport.

The remaining 4 Sites: IRP Site 1, also known as the Small Arms Range Landfill (SARL),IRPSite 4/5 (Site 4 and Site 5 were combined due to their close proximity to each other), IRP Site 7and the JP-4 Spill Site are the main subjects of this assessment, and are discussed in detail below. An investigation at SARL/IRP Site 1 resulted in MSP IAP ARS becoming listed on the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Priorities List (NPL; Superfund).

A. 1 Small Arms Range Landfill (SARL/IRP Site 1)

SARL was listed on the NPL in 1987, based on suspected environmental impacts to surfaceandground water. The NPL is a federal list of prioritized hazardous waste sites slated for cleanup. SARL is a 3 acre site that includes a landfill and a storm-water retention pond immediatelyadjacent to the landfill (Figures 1 and 2). A small arms practice range lies north of the site'slandfill area (not part of the SARL site) is currently used by numerous federal, state, and localgovernments throughout the year.

SARL is located across from state highway 5 to the south east of the Minneapolis-St. PaulInternational Airport. The southern extent of the SARL is bound by U. S. Highway I-494. TheMinnesota River and Fort Snelling State Park extend from the south and southeast of the site tothe northeast. Further south and southwest of the site are wetlands which serve as part of theMinnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge area. The storm-water retention pond, constructed bythe Minnesota Department of Transportation in 1982-83, lies between the landfill and theMinnesota River (figure 2) and is not hydraulically connected to SARL. SARL is within the 100year flood plain of the Minnesota River and portions of the site were flooded in 1965 (1). Thestorm-water retention pond was flooded in 1993 and 1997.

SARL served as the general landfill for MSP IAP ARS from approximately 1963 to 1972. For sixyears, from 1963 to 1969, base refuse was burned in a pit on the western edge of the landfill. Theburned refuge was then removed and buried in another part of the landfill. Landfill debris includegeneral base refuse and industrial wastes. The industrial wastes are believed to includeapproximately 100 gallons of paint sludge (paint thinners, paint removers, and other miscellaneouspaint wastes), 800 pounds of paint filters, and 100-200 gallons of leaded Aviation Gasoline(AVGAS) (1).

SARL was taken off the NPL on December 16, 1996 after satisfying all State and Federalrequirements for delisting (removal from NPL list). The site is subject to EPA 5 Year Reviews aslong as contamination remains on site. The review will help ensure that contamination on sitedoes not pose a threat to human or environmental health.

Figure 1. The Small Arms Range Landfill (SARL)

Figure 2. SARL and Retention Pond

A. 2 Site 4/5

Site 4 is located near building 614, where a (reported) 600 gallon spill of Motor VehicleGasoline(MOGAS) occurred (2). Site 5 is where an above ground 7,500 gallon heating oil storagerailroad tank car was formerly stored and a suspected petroleum, oil, and lubricant (POL) spilloccurred. The data suggest that a release of Trichloroethylene (TCE) occurred near W-1(monitoring well) and a petroleum release occurred near W-12 (3). Sites 4 and 5 were combinedbecause of their proximity to each other (Figure 3).

A. 3 Site 7

Site 7 lies south of the Minneapolis city limits as shown in Figure 4. It was first identified as apotential hazardous waste site in December 1981. Site 7 is primarily occupied by the base hostunit, the 934th Airlift wing of the U. S. Air Force Reserves. IRP and subsequent investigationscharacterized this site to have a groundwater contamination plume containing both free-phase anddissolved-phase AVGAS.

Site 7 included five underground petroleum, oil, and lubricant (POL) storage tanks. Four oftheseare currently being used for the storage of heating fuel oil and one has been removed (Figure 5). Some of the storage tanks were used for the storage of AVGAS and were part of anAQUA-injection AVGAS system. This system used water injection to facilitate the removal ofAVGASfrom the storage tanks. The AQUA-injection system was deactivated in 1948 and converted to aheating fuel oil system in 1970.

Reportedly, several small spills and one large spill occurred at Site 7. In the winter of 1966,approximately 250-500 gallons of AVGAS were spilled on to the ground surface during refuelingoperations (6). It is estimated that in total 5,000 gallons of fuel may have been released at Site 7,based on losses of AVGAS due to overfills and disposal (7).

A. 4 JP-4 Spill Site (MPCA LEAK # 3360)

The location of the JP-4 Spill Site is about 300-500 yards northeast of Site 7 and about 100yardssouth of a small residential neighborhood (four city blocks south of Highway 62 Crosstown) onthe north side of the MSP IAP ARS (Figure 4 and photo in Appendix D). The JP-4 Spill Site waspart of a fuel tank system that was installed and operated by the Department of the Navy from1955-69. The U. S. Air Force assumed operation of the system in 1969. The system consistedof: a fuel line from the unloading station to the tank, fuel tank (210,000 gallons), fuel line to thegas-water separator, gas-water separator house, and fuel lines to the loading station. The systemhad two dry wells connected to it for the separation of water condensate from the

Figure 3. Site Location of Sites 4/5

Figure 4. Site Location of sites 4/5, 7 and JP-4

Figure 5. Detail of Site 7

fuel tank and separator house (Figure 6). The dry wells appear to be the source of petroleumhydrocarbon releases to the subsurface soils, and then to the water. The system was emptied bythe Air Force in 1969 and remained temporarily closed until 1982 when it was inspected, cleanedand operated for jet fuel (JP-4) through 1988. In the fall of 1989, the tank system was inspectedand placed in temporary closure until it was removed in October 1990 (8).

B. Site Visit

On April 3, 1997, MDH, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and U. S. Air Force personnel performed a site visit of all the IRP Sites at MSP IAP ARS. Informationobtained from this site visit is used throughout this document to provide history, physicaldescriptions, and spatial perspective between the areas of concern.

C. Demographics, Land Use andNatural Resources Use

The number of people on the MSPIAC can vary widely depending on the number of people ateach of the military installations and the airport. The MSP IAP ARS does not have any staffhousing but does have some lodging facilities where Reservists stay during periodic trainingexercises. The base has about 350 full time employees, and during training exercises up to 1500people may be on base. All entrances at the base are guarded around the clock. An appointmentand proper identification are required to gain access. State Highway 62 Crosstown transversesthe northern border of MSPIAC (including MSP IAP ARS). The nearest residential area(approximately four city blocks of houses) is on the north side of the complex and on the southside of Highway 62 Crosstown. These homes and the MSP IAP ARS receive city water. On thenorth side of Highway 62 Crosstown is a large residential community on the southern end ofMinneapolis. The City of Minneapolis is in Hennepin County and had a 1994 population ofapproximately 366,480. The City of Richfield is to the west of MSPIAC and the City ofBloomington is to the south. Both cities are in Hennepin County and had 1994 estimatedpopulations of 35,261 and 86,683 respectively. On the east side of MSPIAC lies Fort SnellingState Park and the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers.

D. General Regional Issues

The Minneapolis St Paul International Airport Complex (MSPIAC) has many undergroundstorage tanks and some surface tanks used for numerous purposes. These tanks are owned andoperated by the various entities on the MSPIAC. There have been numerous reports to theMPCA of spills and leaking tanks at MSPIAC. Thus, during excavation activities andenvironmental investigations, soil and groundwater contamination is often encountered at

Figure 6. Detail of JP-4 Site

MSPIAC. Exposures to contaminants in groundwater are not likely under present conditionsbecause regional groundwater generally flows towards the river away from any known wellreceptors. Although general groundwater flow is towards the river, site specific groundwaterflow can be away from the river on a local level but will eventually drain to the river. Flowdirections tend to be more varied in the surficial aquifer than the deeper aquifers (Platteville andJordan).

Contact with contaminated soil is not likely because many of the contaminated areas arepaved,grass covered, or have buildings on them, and access to MSPIAC is limited. However as long ascontamination remains at the MSPIAC, future exposure potential exists. The public healthimplications of any future land uses would need to be evaluated based on specific conditionspresent at that time.

E. Community Involvement

Community health concerns and involvement in the IRP process have been minimal. Onepersonfrom the community reportedly attended a public meeting held September 5, 1991 to discuss theRecord of Decision for SARL. Attendance was solicited via announcements sent to local papers,public employees, and city council members of Bloomington, Richfield, and Minneapolis. Thelack of local community involvement may be reflective of the isolated location of MSP IAP ARS.

F. Agency For Toxic Substances And Disease Registry (ATSDR) Involvement

ATSDR is mandated by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, andLiability Act of 1980 as amended by Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA1986), to conduct a public health assessment at each site proposed for or listed on the NPL. Incooperation with ATSDR, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has evaluated the publichealth significance of MSP IAP ARS, its associated IRP sites and SARL.

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