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University will discuss potential pollution problems tonight

The University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will hold a public meeting tonight concerning the investigation of pollution on 3,500 acres of the UMore property.

During the meeting the university will shares details of its Remedial Investigation Work Plan, which will determine the level of contamination on the property and what the risk is to human health and the environment. The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. May 19 at the Rosemount Community Center. A presentation will be given at 6:30 p.m.

The university plans to build a sustainable community on 5,000 acres it owns in southern Rosemount and northern Empire Township. To help fund the community the university has partnered with Dakota Aggregates to mine gravel on the property. A good portion of that property will be part of the remedial investigation.

UMore has a long history. During World War II the federal government used eminent domain to take the property from area farmers to build a smokeless gunpowder facility. The plant ran for 11 days.

After the war the government deeded the land to the university. The university has since used the property for various purposes, including research.

University spokesperson Tim Busse said work has started on digging into the historical background of the property and fieldwork will begin in mid-June.

The work plan, which the university submitted to the MPCA for approval, identifies areas where fieldwork will be conducted. The investigation will include soil and groundwater testing, pit excavations and ground water monitoring.

Residents can view the Remedial Investigation Work Plan from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the UMore Park Administration 1605 160th St. W or online at The MPCA will accept comments on the plan until June 10. Comments should be submitted to MPCA representative Gary Krueger 520 Lafayette Road, N. St. Paul, Minn.

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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