• Aug 3rd 2007 at 7:32PM
  • 9

Ford's recent Q2 good news shows that it's making progress in cleaning up its own messes. Still, there are plenty of messes that need to be addressed -- a literal one being the land under its Twin Cities production plant in Highland Park, Minnesota. The factory, in use since 1925, will be closed next year. Before Ford can sell the land to developers, the company needs to clean up eight decades of toxic contamination and get the land environmentally certified by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) so that its value can be assessed.

There are more than 70 "hot spots" on the 138-acre plot where pollutants including oil, solvents, paint, batteries, gasoline, diesel, lead, ethylbenzene, toluene, and xylenes have contaminated the ground. The startling variety is partly due to the fact that many of the chemicals were dumped on and in the ground before modern environmental regulations prevented such behavior -- like when an unpaved testing track was sprayed with waste oil to prevent dust, standard practice in 1942. Yet those are just the contaminants that Ford knows about. The company is awaiting results of more soil and groundwater samples recently taken.

[Source: Star Tribune via The Truth About Cars]

Ford might not have to, or be able to, remove absolutely everything. The MPCA has to sign off on the job, but it can allow for certain levels of pollution to remain as long as those levels fall within a safe range. And once Ford gets the land cleaned and certified, it will still be liable if any other contaminants are found even after it is sold. No matter what, the cleanup is going to be time consuming and expensive, which has become a familiar refrain of the Way Forward turnaround plan.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Not to nitpick, but there is no such place as Highland Park, Minnesota. There is, however, a St. Paul Minnesota that has a neighborhood in it called Highland Park that just happens to be the location of the Ford plant in question.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Workers at the Ford plant in St. Paul were informed early next week they will remain open through 2008 to complete a 2009 model line run. This is confirmed and i am working obtaining the official memo from my sources inside.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Hey Terry,
        How do you already know what workers won't be informed of until next week? Have you got some kind of crystal ball?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford has learned a valuable and costly lesson about building great cars and trucks. Ford's quality has greatly improved. I think they will come back in a big way. They may not be among the most prominent leaders in the industry, but they certainly will not be followers when it comes to quality. cudos to Ford for laying down and giving up to the transplant car manufacturers.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Anyone that thinks this story was posted just to discredit Ford has got to be a total idiot, all the car manufacturers have or will have this problem in the future no matter it's a Chevy plant or an old BMW plant. USofA , you can tell that you are dumb enough to be a Ford fan, but not smart enough to realize that the entire auto industry faces this problem, but you would think that being a Ford fan you would be used to catching crap from everyone.
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