No more deadline extensions for Burnsville freeway landfill

A Dec. 15 deadline for a deal to clean-up Minnesota’s largest Super Fund site, the Freeway Landfill in Burnsville, has passed, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) says it will not ask the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for another deadline extension.

The MPCA has asked for three deadline extensions from the EPA in its decade long negotiation with landfill’s owner, Michael McGowan.  A spokesperson for the MPCA says while it won’t ask for another extension, there is an offer on the table that stands. 

BACKSTORY - History of the Freeway Landfill

The MPCA had offered to put Freeway Landfill in the state’s “Closed Landfill” program, and taxpayers would pick up clean-up costs, which could exceed $60 million dollars.

In exchange, McGown would be allowed to develop 45 acres of the site west of 35W Freeway and adjacent to the Minnesota River.  But there were costs and strings attached to the development of the property that McGown objected to.

“We think we’ve been treated unfairly and disparately by the PCA,” McGowan told the FOX 9 Investigators last month.

Assistant MPCA Commissioner Kirk Koudelka told the FOX 9 Investigators the agency had a new round of water testing that showed the landfill could pollute local groundwater when a nearby quarry shuts down and the water table rises.