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UMore remedial investigation public forum tonight

It's hard to leave a warm June evening to sit inside and listen to someone talk about pollution, but the University of Minnesota hopes people will do it. The university and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will host a public forum on findings from the 2011 remedial investigation of UMore Park from 6 to 8 p.m. June 28 at the Rosemount Community Center.

The investigation was completed of the eastern 3,500 acres of the UMore property. The University of Minnesota hired Barr Engineering to conduct the investigation to assess the environmental impacts of a smokeless gunpowder plant, called Gopher Ordnance Works that once stood on the property and subsequent land uses by the university and its tenants. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency acted as the regulatory agency for the investigation.

"We want to let people know what we found," said Tim Busse, university services communications director.

The university and MPCA will share the results of the investigation and what's next for the property during the two-hour forum. A formal presentation will start at 6:30 p.m. The presentation will include several speakers, including Barr Engineering project manager Jim Eidem and University of Minnesota Environmental planner Janet Dalgleish.

To conduct the investigation Barr Engineering reviewed the historical uses of the property and determined where concentrations of pollution might be. The group then collected soil samples and groundwater for analysis. The results of the investigation are available on the UMore website at

Busse said before and after the presentation residents will have the opportunity to speak with staff.

"I think having staff available to answer question is the most useful part," said Busse.

A similar open house was held last year at the beginning of the process. About three dozen people attended the forum. Busse said they hope to get many of those people back for the results.

The university plans to build a sustainable community on its UMore property that could include up to 30,000 people. In a nutshell the study determined that property can be developed but that work will need to be done piece by piece depending on the concentrations of pollutants in the different areas.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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