Mercury, diesel fuel found at abandoned power plant; water being tested


A hazardous discovery at a former southern Minnesota power plant has officials concerned about the potential environmental impact.

KAAL reports authorities found about 5 pounds of mercury and a diesel fuel spill at the abandoned Dairy Land power plant in Twin Lakes.

This embed is invalid

The problem was first discovered May 26, when the son of the former owner (who recently died) visited the site to collect something, KIMT reports. Inside, he found a bottle of mercury, and also a thick layer of diesel fuel floating on top of several feet of water.

Officials with Freeborn County Emergency Management and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency were contacted, and extremely high levels of mercury were detected in that area of the building, the Albert Lea Tribune reports.

This embed is invalid

MPCA officials have since cleaned up the room where the mercury was found, removing about 5 pounds' worth of the substance, stored in various bottles. Only trace amounts of the substance can still be detected in cracks on the floor, the paper says.

Testing was done on three wells and municipal water to check for contamination; none show mercury or diesel fuel present, KTTC reports.

The former plant was sold to a local family about two decades ago and used as a place to do auto work, until the last owner died last month, KAAL says.

But there are still questions about when the spill actually occurred, and whether the proper paperwork transferring ownership of the property was filed, according to KTTC.

So who will pay the minimum $45,000 required for the clean-up? It's still not clear, reports say.

Officials are working to stabilize the site, which they hope to have done within the next week.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov / Minnesota Wild

Watch: Another absurd night for Kaprizov as his legend grows

Kaprizov scored a crazy wrap-around goal in the Wild's victory over the Kings.


DoorDash, Uber Eats bump service fees for Twin Cities customers

After Minneapolis and St. Paul limited what companies can charge restaurants, DoorDash and Uber are charging customers about a dollar more

hockey rink ice arena

Hill-Murray girls' hockey shut down after 3 players with COVID symptoms kept playing

The players showed 'complete disregard' for the school's COVID

Screen Shot 2019-02-12 at 6.18.55 AM

Narrow band of intense snow to bring up to 7 inches to Minnesota

A winter storm watch has been issued where more than 6 inches could pile up.

Icicles; frozen; winter

As Minnesotans brace for huge gas bills, state ups assistance to $1200

Texas wasn't the only state impacted by February's arctic blast.

Kirill Kaprizov / Minnesota Wild

3 first-period goals lead Wild over Kings

With three goals in just over three minutes, the Wild sealed their fifth straight victory.

butcher and the boar

Butcher & the Boar makes comeback with new ownership

Local hospitality company Jester Concepts has bought the brand. The new location is still being determined.


Staff at Mankato Hy-Vee incorrectly diluted COVID vaccines for 62 patients

The retailer says that there is no reason for medical concern.

Screen Shot 2021-02-26 at 7.19.58 PM

Twin Cities man going to great lengths to find beloved dog, missing in northern MN

He's hoping drone operators can help him locate Rowdi, his yellow lab.

Hennepin County Government Center

Some Hennepin County Government Center services will be unavailable during Chauvin's trial

Access to the building will be limited during the trail, which begins March 8.


64 pounds of mercury found on Craigslist

State pollution officials intercepted 64 pounds of mercury that a Craigslist seller found in his late grandfather's garage. The seller in Floodwood, Minn., posted an ad to sell the elemental mercury for $650, and an alert Craigslist browser contacted authorities. Elemental mercury is toxic to human kidneys and the nervous system.