EPA orders cleanup of residential properties at the St. Regis Superfund site on Leech Lake Reservation in Cass Lake, Minnesota


CHICAGO (MAY 14, 2021) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a unilateral administrative order to two potentially responsible parties, International Paper and Burlington Northern Santa Fe, to clean up contaminated soil at the St. Regis Superfund site on the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Reservation in Cass Lake, Minnesota.

The cleanup will be conducted under a plan issued in 2020. The companies will excavate dioxin-contaminated soil that exceeds a 10 part-per-trillion dioxin level, replacing it with clean soil and vegetation and will consolidate most of the excavated soil on property that is owned by the potentially responsible parties. A small amount of the excavated soil is projected to pose a potential leaching threat and will be transported off-site for disposal to protect the neighboring community. The estimated cost to implement the soil cleanup is $21.4 million.

The 170-acre St. Regis site is located within the boundaries of the Leech Lake Reservation. A wood-treatment facility operated from the 1950s to the 1980s using creosote and pentachlorophenol that contaminated the soil and groundwater. In 1984, EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List, a list of the nation’s most contaminated sites.

To learn more, visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/st-regis-paper.


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