November 8th, 2018, 6:30 – 8:50
Office: 2536 18th Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN 55404
East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center, 2307 17th Ave S.
EPIC web address: eastphillips-epic.com
Phone: (612) -280-8418
Board Roster: Rosie Cruz, Laura Dale, Mary Gonsior, Tom Harris, Cassandra Holmes, Linda Leonard, Carol Pass, Linda Vermillion, Abah Mohamed
Board Members Present: Mary Gonsior, Linda Leonard, Carol Pass, Linda Vermillion,
Board Members Not Present:
6:30 Social Time;
6:42 Welcome and invitation to complete the EPIC survey (yellow sheet)
6:48 Greetings and Introductions
TABLED: Approval of Proposed Agenda; Approval of October 1th General Membership Draft Minutes; Next EPIC Board Meeting, December 3rd at the EPIC office 10 AM Saturday morning
City Ways and Means Committee will meet on November 14th, and may discuss the roof depot situation and the East Phillips Indoor Urban Farm – The entire Roof Depot issue has been pushed back to Nov. 27th. We invited everyone to attend the city council meeting on the 14th. So, we will want to rescind that and move it to the 27th. Watch your email and texts for further information. We need to be there because the city council will be voting on whether to tear down the existing building – we need to save this building. The next Ways and Means meeting will be Dec. 5th.
Please be sure to sign in tonight and write your email address legibly.
December 6th – Karen Clark is retiring, there will be a big kick-off meal for her right here at EPPCCC on December 6 at 6:30 pm. Contact EPIC if you want to help with this event.
Take the EPIC Neighborhood Survey - the yellow page on your table. If you are from East Phillips or Midtown Phillips, please fill it out right now & leave it on the table. This will help us decide where to head next.
Brief update on the East Phillips Indoor Urban Farm . The vote at the end of the last big meeting showed that no residents were opposed to the city giving EPIC the small parcel of land needed to implement the urban indoor agriculture project. We must have 2 acres (12%) of the existing property. There is no question that once we have the commitment for the space, we can raise the funds needed for this project.
7:00 Cassandra Meyer from MPCA and staff bring us a discussion and “Q and A” on air pollution, polluting industries and permitting in East Phillips heavy industry area and to give us a status update on permit process for Bituminous Roadway and Smith Foundry.
There is an investigative and reporting process that is underway. Bituminous wants to move, so let them know if we find a place (within 20 miles of current location, or anywhere in Hennepin County.) There is a listserve available and if you want to be involved, see instructions below. Meetings will be announced over this listserve. Any S. Mpls project will appear in this listserve.
Go to and enter your email; click “next”. If prompted, click the box titled “Air permitting in South Minneapolis” (under the “Air” category near the bottom of the page) and click “submit”. Or, email saying you would like to signup for the South Minneapolis GovDelivery email list.
Don Smith (MPCA)
Jim Kelly (Health)
· Smith Foundry will be decreasing their emissions through updates to equipment
· Bituminous is looking to move (we can’t make them move)
o They have to be within 20 miles of Minneapolis
o Must have appropriate industrial zoning
o We received the permit application and conducted a review
o **Draft the permit, conduct a public and EPA review period**
§ We are somewhere in this process.
o Typically, we notify the public during the review period.
o With the cumulative bill, we notify the public when we receive an application for a permit.
§ MPCA will announce public meetings through their listserve
§ EPIC will also notify residents of these meetings
o Cassandra resides in the neighborhood and she will be present even after the permitting process is concluded.
· This is an opportunity to have dialogue; what would you like to ask them to do?
o Is there a number to call to request immediate testing when pollution is apparent and causing symptoms among residents?
§ Very disappointed – thought the state would be doing more
o If their pollutants are exceeding approved levels, is there somewhere residents can go to view this data?
§ Last tested October 2005
§ These polluters are “self monitoring”
· They are required to do testing
· They are required to hire a testing company (certified by state)
o Asthma: air quality is a problem
§ Has asthma after age 50 which is very unusual
§ Have lived here 10 years
§ These industries should be located where there are fewer people impacted
§ Changes that make people here feel cared for and protected
o Cheating on testing; Why aren’t tests conducted when citizen’s complain?
§ Tests are conducted by the certified testers
§ There isn’t really any way to “fudge” the results
§ There is the reputation of the tester to ensure honesty
o Hours of operation
§ No set hours of operation unless set by the city
§ Testing must be done when they are in full operation
· Multiple runs during the course of a test day (average of 3 values)
§ MPCA is not doing their own testing, but are relying on third-party testers
§ MPCA does have air quality monitors in place
o Air, Land and Water testing
§ Fumes go into the air and then are distributed through rain to land and water
§ Our community gardens have to be remediated over and over due to pollution
§ Does MPCA test produce grown in community gardens?
· MPCA doesn’t deal with the soil and water
o Karen Clark discussed the law which gives the PCA authority to revoke or modify any permit issued, whenever it is necessary, in the opinion of the agency, to prevent or abate pollution.
§ Displayed the impact of pollution on the Phillips neighborhood
§ MPCA doesn’t have the resources to test for the particles that are known to cause health issues
§ MPCA doesn’t know where the plume is actually going
§ MPCA doesn’t know who is getting cancer from this pollution
· No history of where people lived, worked 20 years before getting sick
· We know that soldiers have experienced health issues years after exposure to various chemicals
§ People here are frustrated because we know this law was passed
· Who is enforcing it?
§ MPCA has worked with this law with two other facilities and will be considered in the modeling and risk analysis process.
· As far as nano-particles, we do not monitor this nor do we have the equipment to do stack testing (there is one that tests at this level for traffic)
· Will be able to identify where the plumes are going
§ How do the testing levels of these businesses compare to the Air Quality Index
· For example, compared to the warning about fires in Canada?
· What can Dept of health do?
o Establish standards of how much chemical exposure can contribute to health effects
o Very scientific
§ By today’s standards, technology is available that can test and report data 24/7. Why aren’t sensors present at all times? Why aren’t these particles measured on a daily basis?
§ Minneapolis Public Works wants to move 100 diesel trucks here on top of what we already have to deal with – this will add to the accumulation of pollution in this area. The city will need a NEW permit – will MPCA refuse to give them a permit?
§ Why does Bituminous get to say they will only go 20 miles? Why should the children in this neighborhood, who have been affected by their pollution, have to make the sacrifice?
§ When the neighborhood pushed to get the arsenic testing done, there was not enough money to remediate the problem. In the beginning, many properties were not remediated. As the EPA found more and more properties that exceeded permitted levels, they found more and more money and more properties were remediated. However, the vendors hired to replace soil, at first brought in contaminated soil…the neighborhood had to watch everything they were doing.
§ Bituminous wants to move but Richfield turned them down 2 years ago – because they cause too much pollution
· News article: staff has spent so much time working on complaints from Smith Foundry
· Requested that these businesses use Hiawatha only instead of Cedar
· Hopper trucks have covers but don’t use them – drive miles down Cedar Ave
· Closing off the entrance at 25th and Cedar (right by an apartment building and children’s playground)
§ Smith Foundry is not finished yet with changes to their site (2012? 2016?)
· Still working on the same permit
o Delay is a result of considering nearby sources (Bituminous)
§ Bituminous permit is only a “registration” permit
o Now both are going through the process
o Hope to complete by 2020
§ There’s one place (35W and 94) that has a monitor that is capable of monitoring the smaller particles that we now know are causing severe health issues.
· Both departments should ask for funding for the equipment and budget to implement these monitors – what would it cost? We will fight for this!
· Neighborhood should visit our new governor – or invite her to visit us.
§ Are there health standards even established to address the health risks associagted with these nano-particles?
Diesel is bad and we don’t want more. Where can we start to do more?
· Assist with funds to implement monitors
· More discussions – try to find a way for the citizens and the agencies (Mpls) and talk about what is really going to happen when those diesel trucks hit the area.
o Truck traffic doesn’t need a permit
o Is additional truck traffic something the MPCA can do something about
· ALL ENTITIES that are contributing to pollution – can be revoked. NOT just those that are being measured.
The MPCA doesn’t have the authority to shut them down YET, if they are in compliance with the requirements.
Is there a possible MOTION that could come out of the discussion tonight?