United States
     Environmental Protection
Cleanup  Plans  Being Developed
for St. Regis Superfund  Site
Attend a public meeting
EPA will hold a public meting to
update the community on the site:

Leech Lake Tribal College
Tuesday, June 23, 2009, 6:30 p.m.
Room 100, A-Wing
113 Balsam N.W.
Cass Lake

Contact information
Don de Blasio
Community Involvement Coordinator
Toll-free 800-621-8431, Ext. 64360
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., weekdays

Tim Drexler
Remedial Project Manager

EPA Region 5
77 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604-3590

Information repositories
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
Division of Resource Management
6530 Highway 2 N.W.
Cass Lake

Cass Lake Library
223 Cedar Ave.
Cass Lake

Bemidji State University Library
1501 Birchmont Drive N.E.

Cass Lake City Clerk
332 Second St. N.W.
Cass Lake

Leech Lake Tribal College
113 Balsam Ave.
Cass Lake

On the Web:
St. Regis Paper Co. Superfund Site
Leech Lake Reservation
Cass County, Minnesota	
June 2009
After reaching an agreement in September 2008 with two of the potentially
responsible parties for the St. Regis Paper Company Site in Cass Lake, Minn.,
options are being developed to permanently reduce health risks at the site.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working with the companies and its
support agency partners, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and the Minnesota
Pollution Control Agency, to develop a list of potential cleanup plans. The
document, which discusses and evaluates the potential cleanup options is
called a feasibility study. International Paper and BNSF Railway Co. signed a
consent order with EPA to conduct the feasibility study. IP and BNSF
Railway are producing preliminary documents to the feasibility study that are
being reviewed by EPA and its support agency partners. Once the feasibility
study report is completed and approved, EPA will develop a document
proposing a recommended alternative and then conduct a public hearing in
Cass Lake to present EPA's recommended cleanup action for the site. At the
public hearing and during a public comment period, the community will have
an opportunity to provide comments on the proposed alternatives. EPA
anticipates that the hearing should occur in late 2009 or early 2010.

Two additional parties responsible for cleanup of the site, the city of Cass
Lake and Cass Forest Products, have declined to participate.

Risk assessment
A human health and ecological risk assessment, completed in 2008,
determined that human health risks remain at the site. The feasibility study
will present and evaluate cleanup options to permanently reduce these risks
from contaminated soil. While some temporary measures have been taken to
reduce risks to nearby residents, the feasibility study must present and discuss
more permanent options.

Ecological risks also remain at the site. The Fox Creek area and an area near
an onsite contaminated soil containment vault, have been identified for
evaluation during the feasibility study. Under the oversight of EPA and the
Leech Lake Band, IP conducted additional sediment sampling during fall
2008. A test of the collected samples was done to determine whether the Fox
Creek sediments are toxic to animals. EPA is interpreting those test results to
complete the ecological risk assessment. The results of that work will be used
to finalize the ecological portion of the risk assessment and to develop
feasibility study options.

Continuing ground water study
Ongoing site operations continue to monitor contaminated ground water
removal and treatment. In addition, new studies of the contaminated ground
water plumes by IP continue under EPA and support agency partner oversight.
The plume located near the former dump site of the city of Cass Lake is being
evaluated to insure that the ground water extraction wells are capturing all of
the contamination. In addition, a comprehensive study of the ground water
near the Leech Lake Band drinking water wells is under way.

Next steps
The feasibility study will result in a list of cleanup options
for the St. Regis site. In consultation with the Leech Lake
Band and MPCA, EPA will pick a recommended cleanup
plan from those options and open the process to public
comment. After a period of review and comment on the
recommended cleanup plan, EPA will make a final cleanup
choice in a document called "record of decision." Plans to
carry out that decision will then be developed so the actual
cleanup can begin.

History and  background
The St. Regis  site, in the city of Cass Lake, is within the
boundaries of the Leech Lake Band's reservation. It
includes a former wood treatment plant, which operated
from 1958 until 1984, and affected adjacent areas.
St. Regis was  listed on the National Priorities List in 1984,
making it eligible for cleanup under EPA's Superfund

The site area of the site has four primary sections:
  •  The northwest portion of the former operations area.
  •  The southwest operations area and location of an
     on-site vault.
  •  The former Cass Lake dump that accepted site
  •  The residential area surrounding the site.

MPCA originally had the lead for site cleanup. During the
late 1980s, MPCA required then-owner Champion Paper
Co. to conduct the following cleanup actions:
  •  Connect nearby residents to city water.
  •  Create a vault for excavated contaminated  soil and
  •  Create a ground water extraction system with
     monitoring wells to contain contaminated
      underground water plumes in the former
      operations and former city dump areas.

In 1994 site responsibility transferred to EPA at the
request of the Leech Lake Band.

In 2001 and 2003, soil sampling conducted after a major
review of the site uncovered new problems with dioxin
concentrations. Dioxin levels in shallow soil on the site
exceeded EPA's 1998 dioxin policy for residential limits
of 1,000 parts per trillion. In 2004, EPA also ordered IP
to conduct a human health and ecological risk assessment
based on Five Year Reviews of the site. The company
sampled for contaminated dust in residences as a part of
the risk assessment. The results showed an increased risk
to residents near the site. In response, IP agreed to clean
up contaminated dust in nearby residences.

In 2004 and 2005, IP removed 3,394 tons of
contaminated soil from the site based on the 2001 and
2003 sampling. In 2006, IP installed a gravel cover and a
fence to prevent access to a commercial portion of the
site. BNSF removed an additional 680 tons of
contaminated soil from its property in 2006.

Also in 2006 with EPA oversight, IP completed a system-
wide pumping test  of 72 monitoring wells and all 13
extraction wells. During January and February 2008, IP
carried out more investigations that resulted in new
monitoring wells being added in the former Cass Lake
city dump. The work was done because of the discovery
of a tar plume in addition to a light plume  already known
to exist. Later this year IP will test water wells belonging
to the Leech Lake Band. After the testing, the new
information will be used to develop computer models to
evaluate the effectiveness of the ground water extraction
and monitoring system.
     United States
     Environmental Protection

     Region 5
     Superfund Division (SI-7J)
     77 W Jackson Blvd.
     Chicago, IL 60604-3590
                          FIRST CLASS
         St.  Regis Superfund  Site:  Cleanup  Plans Being Developed