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After 47 years in the ground, hazardous waste in an Andover landfill will be removed this summer. Final funding for the $22 million dollar project was secured last month.The Waste Disposal Engineering Landfill just south of Andover Boulevard and west of Hanson Boulevard opened in 1962. Its operators began accepting hazardous industrial waste in the early 1970s into a one-third-acre pit.The practice stopped a few years later but protective measures did not stop the waste from contaminating ground water. The site is now considered one of the highest risk landfills in the state.
Water is currently being extracted from the area to protect groundwater from paints, solvents PCBs and other hazardous chemicals.“To operate the system we have in place we’re looking at somewhere between $400,000 and $500,000 a year. That won’t immediately go away but the hope is that commitment will be reduced long term,” said Cliff Shierk, an engineer with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.The MPCA held a community meeting at the Andover City Hall on May 8th to go over how the project will be completed and what safety measures will be in place to protect nearby residents.Staging for the project will begin in mid-May for the construction of a large shelter over the pit. The hazardous waste will be moved out of state for incineration and disposal as early as July. The MPCA says work to remove the material and cover the site with clean soil may conclude as early as mid-November of this year.