Facebook logo Twitter logo YouTube logo Podcast logo RSS feed logo

Superfund Site Still Causing Concern

map of Cass Lake area

Minnesota Sea Grant was recently awarded $250,000 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a two-year environmental justice project to evaluate a federal Superfund site on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in north central Minnesota.

Since 1985, contaminated groundwater underneath a former wood preserving site owned by Champion International Paper Company near Pike Bay and Cass Lake has been in the remediation process. However, recent evidence suggests remnants of pollution have moved off-site, potentially impacting surface and groundwater resources on tribal lands. The lakes that lie adjacent to the site are an important fishery for the Leech Lake Band. Several nearby wells supply water for the band’s fish hatchery. The Leech Lake Tribal Council requested that the University of Minnesota jointly develop a proposal to study the problem.

Work on this project will focus on:

  • Developing unbiased assessments of historical ecological data and groundwater models.
  • Developing a long-term monitoring program
  • Evaluating and communicating the potential ecological and health risks of the site to the local public
  • Developing partnerships between the band’s natural resource managers and other agencies and educators in the region

Besides Sea Grant, other project members include the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Natural Resources Research Institute and the Leech Lake Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. Funding comes from the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice (Community/University Partnership Grants Program).


By Sea Grant Staff
March 1998

Return to March 1998 Seiche



This page last modified on December 12, 2017     © 1996 – 2017 Regents of the University of Minnesota     The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Facebook logo Twitter logo YouTube logo Podcast logo RSS feed logo
Logo: NOAA Logo: UMD Logo: University of Minnesota Logo: University of Minnesota Extension