Jim Seaberg, Hydrologist and Greg Hanson, Ag Chemical Consultant
The conversion of golf courses to other land uses, especially residential, requires that land is safe for development. Past pesticide use has led to heavy metal contamination of some golf course property. The MDA has new guidance for soil sampling at golf courses. These procedures are different than sampling procedures at properties with other types of contamination.
An investigation should begin with a thorough assessment of past pesticide use. Good historical records and interviews with available grounds keeping staff can be invaluable. Greens and tee-boxes are the most likely areas of contamination and their locations may have changed, so historical air photographs must be carefully reviewed.
Contamination investigations include sampling for arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium, silver and other pesticides including no longer used pesticides such as DDT, heptachlor and chlordane. Contamination typically extends to the outer margins of greens and tee-boxes and is shallow. Other locations of concern are the product loading, storage and mixing areas, and, in some cases, the dedicated dumping areas for grass clippings.
Soil Sampling at Golf Courses for Contamination guidance can be viewed at: www.mda.state.mn.us/chemicals/spills/ incidentresponse/guidelist.
Contact the Incident Response Unit for assistance through the Agricultural Voluntary Investigation & Cleanup (AgVIC) program at 615-201-6681 or visit: www.mda.state.mn.us/ chemicals/spills/incidentresponse/agvic.