Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here: http://secondward.blogspot.com/2006/05/disclaimer.html#links

Friday, December 01, 2006

Air Quality - Globe Tool

Recently, I've gotten involved in another air quality issue (see the Morningstar post below for the first), this time up in Southeast Como.

Southeast Como Improvement Association (SECIA) staff have recently learned that the air pollution permit for Greatbatch Globe Tool is coming up for renewal in December. They had earlier been told by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) that they would be notified of the renewal and have a chance to make public comment. This didn't happen. They found out on their own.

This is problematic for several important reasons. First, because according to SECIA staff, Globe Tool emits 26,000 pounds of trichloroethylene (or TCE, a known endocrine disruptor and carcinogen) per year, or 15% of the annual Minnesota TCE emissions. The facility is the 4th greatest emitter of known endocrine disruptors and 3rd greatest emitter of known carcinogens in Hennepin County. It's reasonable that not all air pollution permits require hearings, but this facility's emissions are so serious that the MPCA should offer an opportunity for public input.

Second, it sounds like Globe Tool has not been especially open to constructive dialog with their neighbors. According to the nieghborhood organization, several emails requesting meetings have gone unreturned. The renewal of this air pollution permit is possibly the one chance that neighbors have to encourage the facility's managers to engage with them.

SECIA staff asked my office to send a letter to the MPCA asking that they not approve the permit until there is an opportunity for public comment, which we did.

I've heard recently that the letter has achieved one of its goals - Globe Tool has agreed to meet with SECIA staff, neighbors and me on December 18th.

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