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Koppers Coke Footbridge

A cache by Grey Wolf and Wild Rice Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 8/29/2008
4 out of 5
1 out of 5

Size: Size: micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

NOTE:  This cache is accessed via a pedestrian overpass.  It is not on or near the railroad tracks.  Stay on the walkway to get to the coordinates and retrieve the cache.  This cache is wheelchair accessible, meaning you can approach GZ and retrieve the cache from a seated position while in a wheelchair. 
Good Luck, and BYOP.

This footbridge is a remaining portion of what was once the employee entrance to the Koppers Coke plant, located east of these coordinates and extending to Lexington Ave.  My grandfather worked here from the 1930’s to when he retired about 1962.  If you walk across this original footbridge and stand at the coordinates, you are where there once was a stairway heading down to the plant’s timeclock building just to the east.  We used to go wait for him to get out of work and headed down the steps as soon as we saw him heading towards the timeclock building.  There was an extension to this footbridge to the north that is no longer here. 

Under these bridges were many railroad switching tracks used to move coal and coke around the site.  All are gone, except two.  There was a steam locomotive operating below here that did the switching work in the yard.  Whenever we would see it coming toward us, we would run to get directly above the track it was running on to be in the path of the smokestack. 

At one time there was a huge coal pile located east of here, extending all the way down to Lexington Ave. and a crane the size of those used in the Iron mines to load the coal.

Today, we know this area as Energy Park.

What is Coke?

Coke is the residue of the carbonization of bituminous coal; and is the burden support, fuel and reductant in blast furnaces. It is primarily used in the iron and steel making industries.

And finally, from the EPA's Superfund website:


EPA ID# MND000819359
Last Updated: December, 2006

Site Description

The Koppers Coke (Koppers) site is approximately 38 acres and is located in St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota. Koppers Company operated a coking facility at the site from 1917 to 1979, producing foundry coke and various byproducts such as coal tars and coal tar distillates. The company demolished all standing structures and removed storage tanks in 1981. The site was acquired in 1981 by the Port Authority for the St. Paul Energy Park. Office and light industrial buildings now occupy the site. Approximately 15,400 residents live within one mile of the site. The nearest residence is 100 feet away, and Como Park, a recreational facility, is three-quarters mile from the site. 

Site Responsibility

This site was selected by the U.S. EPA and the State of Minnesota as a Deferral Pilot site and therefore is being addressed through state and potentially responsible parties' actions. 

Threats and Contaminants

Storage and disposal practices along with the dumping of wastes on the land surface and various leaks and spills resulted in contamination of both soil and groundwater with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-VOCs, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PNAs), metals, and cyanide compounds. 

Cleanup Progress

Koppers removed contaminated soils in the 1980s and early 1990s. In fall 1982, before the site was listed on the National Priorities List (NPL), Koppers disposed of about 240,000 gallons of residue in 20 tanks in a federally-approved facility, and approximately 21,600 cubic yards of contaminated soils were excavated and disposed. On March 25, 1986, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Citizen's Board issued a request for response action to Koppers to conduct a remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) and implement a cleanup plan. On April 21, 1994, the record of decision (ROD) was issued, requiring confirmation of soil removal and implementation of in-situ bioremediation of groundwater. This remedy is currently being implemented. An in-situ pilot system began operation in February 1996. The evaluation of the in-situ pilot system was completed in 1997, and the data was used to limit the scope of the remedial action (RA) to the current operation location onsite. The monitoring well network is being enhanced as part of the RA for the site. The enhancements were completed in 1998; the long-term monitoring activities began in 1998. The data will be used to monitor the effectiveness at which natural attenuation will degrade the relatively stable contaminant plume which exists in the glacial aquifer in the vicinity of the site.  A Preliminary Close-out Report was signed in July of 1998 documenting the completion of the remedial action at the site.  A five-year review was conducted on September 19, 2003. The five-year review stated the remedy remains protective of human health and the environment.

A second 5 year review is scheduled to be completed by the State of Minnesota in 2008 .


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