Dirty water from U Stadium site reached Mississippi River
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency inspected the site that is under construction for the new football stadium and concluded that seven violations were filed and that the University may face tens of thousands of dollars in fines. The agency visited the site in April and issued an "enforcement letter of warning" because of violations that were effecting the environment, including a "sediment plume with a chemical odor" at the Mississippi river.
The MPCA requires storm water construction permits to prevent dirt and possible contaminants like oil from being flushed into lakes or rivers. Contractors are usually required to install filter fences, sediment traps or sediment ponds. The contractor for this project, Thomas & Sons Construction Inc. didn't have those things in place when the agency paid visit to the site.
Brian Swanson, the university's stadium project coordinator said that he immediately told contractors to pump any discharge water to the sanitary sewer system where it could be treated. That process ended on July 20 when the sewer pipe installation was finished.
It is good that the dirty stream has stopped, but what is unknown is how much damage could have been done from the brief, but consistent flow. This has to be at least a little unsettling for Metro residents, especially after the recent Star Tribune report about the group of men in a rural town dying after drinking dirty water from a well. The town can only hope it is worth the toll it is taking on our environment, for the hope is that the stadium will improve the football team and make it a smart decision to build the stadium, for as seen this weekend, The Gophers are in dire need of help.
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