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Historic Preservation

For almost 100 years Shoreham Yards was one of the largest and busiest railroad yards in the upper Midwest. During its years of heaviest operation, few if any environmental regulations were in place. Occupants of Shoreham Yards at times disposed of or spilled fuel, solvents, petroleum products and various other compounds on the ground. Leasees also engaged in wood-treating operations at the site.

Recent environmental assessments have revealed that numerous toxic compounds still remain in the soil and are continuing to leach deeper and into sensitive aquifers. Groundwater pollution has spread 1-2 miles south of the site so far. Area wells indicate pollution, so Minneapolis residents are advised not to use groundwater wells for drinking. Local usinesses using wells are being monitored by the state. While some remediation has begun, testing continues in an effort to fully define the plume of off-site groundwater contamination and the extent of Shoreham pollution.

State agencies have identified five contaminated sections within Shoreham, each having its own clean-up plans:
* Cedar Services (State Superfund site near University Avenue NE; includes PCP and dioxin)
* Eastside (MPCA site along Central Avenue NE; contains PCE, TCE, VOCs)
* Petroleum Division (MPCA site; contains petroleum contamination)
* McFarland-Dworsky (center of yard; contains dioxin)
* Dump Site (north area near St. Anthony Parkway)

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture are actively working with current owner Canadian Pacific Railway and former leasee Ashland Inc. to develop and implement several different types of remediation plans that reduce soil and groundwater contamination and will allow for possible commercial development along Central Avenue NE.

Soil vapor extraction, bioremediation, soil excavation and removal, and a pump-and-treat groundwater system are among strategies underway at Shoreham.

The Minnesota Department of Health also continues to monitor the site and has developed two health consultation documents: one on the Cedar Services site and one on the Eastside site.

The Minneapolis Public Library at 2200 Central Ave. NE no longer houses the large public collection of environmental reports on Shoreham Yards. Please visit the online repository established by Canadian Pacific Railway:

Other documents on the Eastside site's pollution can be found on the city of Minneapolis Web site: