A bill heard in the Senate Environment Policy Committee this week would establish a task force to coordinate efforts for remediating and restoring the land currently occupied by the Pig’s Eye Landfill. The landfill is a Superfund site located on St. Paul’s East Side and contains high levels of pollutants, including metals, mercury, and PFAS/PFOS. These contaminants have impacted the health of local citizens and wildlife, and if they leach into local water sources, could threaten all downstream communities that rely on the Mississippi River for their water supply.
The area operated as a landfill from 1920 to the early 1970s and was designated as a state Superfund site in 1989. Initial cleanup, including the installation of a barrier to absorb contaminants, was done from 2000 to 2005, but continued monitoring of soil, groundwater, surface water, sediment, and landfill gas is ongoing. The MPCA has been hoping to clean up the area for several years, and the City of St. Paul wishes to move forward with long-held plans to turn the large area of land into a regional park.
If established, the task force would be tasked with coordinating remediation efforts across multiple state agencies, certain federal entities, local watershed districts, and local units of government. The bill appropriates $800,000 for the task force to complete its work over the next few years, funding that is hoped to be matched with federal assistance for the cost of cleaning up the site.
The bill passed committee with bipartisan support and will be heard next in the Senate Environment Finance committee. (SF 3359)