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Blighted Fridley site among 7 to get state cleanup money

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A World War II-era weapons factory site in Fridley is among seven blighted properties that were awarded a total of $2.7 million in state grants, the Pioneer Press reports.

The 122-acre Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant, south of Interstate 694, will get $500,000 from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Chemicals used in the manufacturing of weapons at the site – and disposed of at the site – have contaminated the soil.

The site has been a concern of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for years, the agency notes in a brief history of contamination on the property. The agency classifies it as a "Superfund" site, among its most high-priority polluted sites.

In 1981, the former munitions plant was blamed as the source of trichloroethylene, which was found in on-site groundwater wells and in the City of Minneapolis's drinking water treatment plant intake pipe, the EPA reported. The pipe was located in the Mississippi River about 1,500 feet downstream from the site.

Remediation projects were put into place to protect the city's drinking water, but the site's soils remain contaminated. The state has more fast facts about the site, as well as a cleanup history.

Hyde Development bought the site in July. The developer envisions transforming the polluted plot into a $140 million business campus within five to seven years, the Pioneer Press reports.

Earlier this year, Hyde had said the project will create about 3,000 jobs and roughly $2.5 million in annual property tax revenue for the city.

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