Mayor Hodges’ Statement on Air Monitoring Study
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Announces Air Quality Violations in North Minneapolis, Including Particulate Lead and Other Metals
March 24, 2016 (MINNEAPOLIS) —The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced today that it has detected violations of pollution limits in an industrial area of North Minneapolis and that particulate heavy metals, including lead, chromium, cobalt and nickel are appearing above levels in compliance with health-based guidelines.
MPCA has not verified the exact source of the emissions, but has concerns about one of the possible sources, Northern Metals, and what MPCA calls “potentially serious permit violations.”
“I am outraged to learn of this air quality violation in North Minneapolis,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “Make no mistake. This is an environmental justice issue impacting one of the most overburdened neighborhoods in our community. For too long, the health of our residents, including our children, has been determined by their ZIP code. I urge the MPCA to act swiftly to confirm the source of the lead particulate emissions and take the strongest possible action, up to and including revoking permits and shutting down operations completely.”
In 2011, the City of Minneapolis requested that MPCA require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Northern Metals site. In that request, the City also asked MPCA to require a study of cumulative impacts and place a special emphasis on environmental justice.
In 2012, the City of Minneapolis requested that MPCA deny a permit to expand Northern Metals’ operations. The City also asked that if MPCA would not deny the permit that it require limits on particulate emissions and increased monitoring, as well as engagement with the city on reducing air pollution on disproportionately impacted populations (specifically in North Minneapolis). The MPCA did increase monitoring.
“If you live near this industrial area, or any other Minneapolis neighborhood with older homes that may contain lead paint, please get your children tested,” said Mayor Hodges. “I invested in more lead testing in our homes in this year’s budget because I know that a lead-safe environment is critical to protecting our children’s futures.”
For more information on lead testing, please call 311 or see the following link:
Published Mar 24, 2016