Ongoing flood recovery efforts bring good news for those affectedAfter the recent flooding brought large amounts of river mud onto privately owned land in the Fond du Lac neighborhood, some residents became concerned about hazardous contaminants soaking into their yards.
By: Budgeteer News Staff, Duluth Budgeteer News
After the recent flooding brought large amounts of river mud onto privately owned land in the Fond du Lac neighborhood, some residents became concerned about hazardous contaminants soaking into their yards. The residents approached the City of Duluth regarding the issue. After discussions, the city asked the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to research the question.
The MPCA has now affirmed that soils deposited by the recent flood waters in the Fond du Lac neighborhood pose no risk. On July 20, the MPCA hired a state environmental contractor, Bay West, of St. Paul, to take samples at five properties in Fond du Lac.
Then, the certified Minneapolis Laboratory, Pace Analytical Services, examined the collected specimens for eight metals that would pose a threat to human health.
Pace reported its findings to the MPCA on July 25.
“The results for all samples are well below the Residential Soil Reference Values for metals, PCBs [polychlorinated biphenyls] and PAHs [polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons],” said Susan Johnson, MPCA Superfund project manager. “Given the very low, or non-detectable, levels for the parameters tested, it does not appear that the source of the mud sampled in the Fond du Lac area is a contaminated area or reservoir.”
Loans for replacing furnaces, water heaters and wall
The city of Duluth is also now offering low-interest home energy loans to help flood victims replace furnaces, water heaters, and wall insulation damaged during the flood. Those in need may apply through Comfort Systems, the utilities provider for Duluth. Interest rates of 4.99 percent, lower monthly payment options, and cost-saving opportunities are all part of the Home Energy Loan program.
To qualify, property owners must be current or prospective city gas customers. Applications determining eligibility for the program are processed through Comfort Systems following a home energy audit.
Property owners may contact Northern Energetics at 218-525-3078 to schedule an audit appointment. Comfort Systems staff is also available to answer questions at 218-730-4050.