Public comments due by Monday on Esko groundwater contamination


February 25, 2022

Residents have until 8 a.m. Monday, March 7, to comment on plans for remediation of contaminated groundwater in Esko, adjacent to the Esko Post Office. A notice regarding the comment period appeared on page 5 of the Feb. 4 Pine Knot News.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency began site investigation in 1994, when the post office well was sampled as part of a petroleum release investigation and benzene was detected in the well. Remedial activities lowered the benzene levels so the MPCA closed that case in 2008.

In 1996, tetrachloroethene (PCE) was identified in the post office well and has since been detected in nearby monitoring wells installed to monitor the groundwater plume. Site investigations since then have identified PCE impacted soil — largely demolition fill from the former dry cleaner — in both the post office lot and an adjacent gravel parking lot. PCE and its degradation products were detected in samples from the post office well and several other nearby water supply wells to the west (downgradient) during the summer and fall of 2000. MPCA investigations have also confirmed that contaminated groundwater has extended downgradient of the post office and gravel lot to depths up to 55 feet below ground surface

Phase I of the remediation plan includes plans to excavate the contaminated soil over the next two years. Find more detailed information in the draft Minnesota Decision Document for the Esko Groundwater Contamination Site on the MPCA Public Notices webpage at

Comments should be submitted by email to [email protected] to reach the MPCA in time for the deadline.


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