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

Monday, September 15, 2008

Arsenic Cleanup

As you can read here, the Environmental Protection Agency has decided on their cleanup level for the South Minneapolis Arsenic Contamination site. They plan to remove soil from yards that have an arsenic level of 25 parts per million (ppm) or above to a depth of one foot, and removal of all deeper soil in yards that contain 95ppm or more. This amounts to 488 yards, including the 77 yards that were already slated for cleanup due to contamination above 95ppm.



The cleanup standard EPA has chosen is somewhat disappointing to me. I joined Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota (EJAM) and others in calling for a lower cleanup standard. The literature on arsenic suggests that contamination in the range of 10ppm can be dangerous, especially for children, and the baseline arsenic content in Minneapolis soil is certainly no greater than 17.



Still, it is good that this cleanup will be proceeding. EPA believes the work will take about four years. At the time that it is completed, I would support repealing the tenant notification ordinance I moved through the Council in 2006.

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