Officials address Como residents' concerns over possible TCE exposure


Several residents of Minneapolis' Como neighborhood attended a community meeting Tuesday to get information and raise concerns about the recent discovery of a potentially harmful vapor found in area soil.

State officials notified residents last week that preliminary testing conducted in October showed the presence of trichloroethylene, known as TCE, that could be seeping into homes and businesses.

The chemical was used as an industrial solvent in the 1940s through the early 1960s at a former General Mills research facility on East Hennepin Avenue. FOX 9 reports roughly 1,000 gallons of TCE were dumped into a pit on the property, a practice that was legal at the time.

After the contamination was discovered in the 1980s, the area was declared a "Superfund" site and General Mills spent the next 25 years pumping and treating groundwater, but traces of TCE still remain in the soil.

Additional basement testing will determine if the vapor exceeds safe levels. Property owners are required to sign access agreements for the free testing, which will begin next Monday.

The Star Tribune reports prolonged, substantial exposure to TCE has been linked to cancers like non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as well as congenital birth defects.

Jim Kelly, manager of environmental surveillance and assessment for the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), told the newspaper that data from the department's registries does not show a higher rate of birth defects in the 55414 ZIP code, which includes the Como neighborhood. A review of the cancer database isn't complete, Kelly said.

If high levels of TCE are detected, General Mills will pay for ventilation systems to remove the chemical, similar to what's used to rid homes of radon.

“We’re all hopeful we’re going to conduct this investigation and we’re not going to see the types of exposures that will even require mitigation,” Kelly said.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-02-27 at 9.39.00 AM

Teen wounded in 'accidental shooting' in Moorhead

The 18-year-old was shot in the abdomen.

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.