Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Northern Metals Public Comments

Post and image by Jeff Skrenes,  Hawthorne Neighborhood Council Housing Director.

The Northern Metals Environmental Assessment Worksheet process has resulted in sixty-nine public comments received by the MPCA.  A list of those comments shows who is on the side of the community and who is not.

The final tally may be inexact.  Several organizations have multiple letters included.  Councilmember Hofstede included a series of letters, although some of those people submitted their own comments as well.  However, my best count is this:  Fifty-five people or organizations submitted comments that were either against any increase, or in support of a full Environmental Impact Statement, or expressed serious reservations about the application.  Four letters were written stating that an organizational entity had no position on the matter.  Three letters (one from Northern Metals itself) supported granting the permit.

That's right.  More people took the time to comment that they had no position than those who support the increase in pollution.  A breakdown of who said what is after the jump.

 1.  The  Hawthorne Neighborhood Council strongly opposes the draft permit application.
2.  The National Park Service does not support relaxation of emissions standards in proximity to park land and future park land.
3.  The United States Department of the Interior expresses concerns about the permit and requests more time for public input.
4.  The City of Minneapolis unanimously passed a resolution opposing the draft permit, then supported that resolution with a 7-page letter addressing its concerns.
5.  State Rep. Diane Loeffler supports a full EIS.
6.  The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board expresses concerns and requests a full EIS.
7.  Minneapolis resident and School Board member Carla Bates opposes the draft permit and requests a full EIS.
8.  State Reps Joe Mullery and Phyllis Kahn have expressed strong opposition to the draft permit.  (Mullery has been GREAT at keeping the public informed throughout this process, it should be noted.)
9.  Northside resident and activist Duane Atter opposes the draft permit application.
10.  Minneapolis resident Anita Tabb opposes the draft permit.
11.  Alan Muller, an environmental activist in Red Wing who has provided some of the most detailed and insightful commentary on Northern Metals, comes through again with a list of very specific reasons why the application should be denied.
12.  Northside resident Dana Kuehn opposes the draft permit.
13.  Northeast resident Patty Hillmeyer opposes the draft permit.
14.  MnDOT has no comments, as they believe the issue will not affect the highway system.  This is ironic in the sense that one of the areas where the MPCA may have released incomplete data was in considering air emissions and particulate matter from the freeway in the initial EAW.
15.  The Met Council is the first entity to support the EAW and nothing more, stating their belief (now identified by the MPCA as incorrect) that the draft permit and EAW are accurate and sufficient.
16.  Northside resident Ron Anderson, who lives at the nearby Riverview Townhomes, opposes the application.
17.  The Above the Falls Citizen Advisory Committee opposes the draft permit and asks for it to be denied or for there to be a full EIS.
18.  St. Paul resident John Schatz opposes the application and supports a full EIS.
19.  Lara Norkus-Crampton, a south Minneapolis resident, nurse, and environmental activist opposes the application.
20.  EJAM, Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota, asks that the application be denied.
21.  The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization does not appear to take a stand one way or another on the EAW and draft permit, but does list several key concerns with regards to pollutant levels on site.
22.  Matt Schlosser, a north Minneapolis resident and urban farmer, opposes the application.
23.  Meg Tuthill decided to write her own letter asking for a full EIS, even though she was already part of the Minneapolis City Council's unanimous resolution.
24.  Clean Water Action of Minnesota calls for a full EIS.
25.  A person by the name of Alexis Pennie opposes the application.
26.  Alyssa Murphy, a Minneapolis resident and urban agriculturalist, calls for more study to be done, and appears to oppose the draft permit.
27.  Kris Brogan, a north Minneapolis resident and business owner, calls for better controls around air pollutants in our community.
28.  Andrew Wielinski, a northeast Minneapolis resident, calls for a full EIS.
29.  The Southeast Como Improvement Association expresses deep concerns over the application, and links the air quality impacts of Northern Metals with the HERC garbage burner.
30.  Wesley Moses, a north Minneapolis resident with family members and fellow parishioners in the community, opposes the application.
31.  Elanne Palcich of Chisolm calls for a full EIS.
32.  David Dexheimer, a northside resident and board member of the Victory Neighborhood, calls for a full EIS.
33.  Minneapolis resident Shawne Fitzgerald calls for a full EIS.
34.  A letter writer by the name of Rebecca Rayman calls for a full EIS.
35. Minneapolis resident Nancy Ward calls for a full EIS.
36.  Council Member Diane Hofstede included several letters her office received - a previous letter from Alan Muller, a Diadra Decker of Inver Grove Heights calling for an EIS, and letters from Isabelle Harder, Sherman Malkerson, and Robert Andrews, all opposing the application or asking for an EIS.
37.   Phillip Harder, a resident of northeast Minneapolis who lives across the Mississippi River from Northern Metals, eloquently describes his experience with them as a bad neighbor and a detriment to the community, the River, and the environment.  He takes issue with the EAW statement that there are no "scenic views and vistas" nearby as well.
38.  Greg Coleman, one of the first residents to move into the Riverview Townhomes in Hawthorne, strongly opposes the request for increased pollution.
39.  Diadra Decker, from CM Hofstede's letters, had her own submission included.
40.  Gjerry Berquist (spelling is correct for that name) of St. Paul opposes any relaxation of standards that would result in a negative health effect.
41.  In her capacity as State Senator of senate district 59 (58 at the time of the letter), Linda Higgins wrote a three-page response detailing her staunch opposition to the application by Northern Metals.
42.  Sue Pilarski, a resident of Riverview Townhomes, wrote a letter in her capacity as President of the Riverview Board.  That letter noted inaccuracies in the EAW (the omission of Ole Olson Park nearby for one thing) and expressed reservations regarding the draft permit.
43.  Terry Buchinger and her husband are among the many residents of Northeast Minneapolis that live across the river and were there before Northern Metals.  She complains about noise pollution and states that Northern Metals often operates beyond the allowed hours.
44.  Susan Vikse of Riverview Townhomes points out further inaccuracies in the Northern Metals' application, such as the zoning of land in the area, and expresses opposition to easing any standards.
45.  Michael Gacek of Minneapolis writes in opposition to relaxing pollution and noise standards.
46.  The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources submitted a comment that they have no comment.
47.  Erika Binger of the Riverview Townhomes opposes the application due to health reasons and because the area is designated as a bird flyway.
48.  Susan Peckenschneider, a resident of Riverview Townhomes, writes that one of her children has developed asthma and they believe it is in part due to the particulate matter pollution of nearby industries.  She is disturbed by the prospect of pollution increasing.
49.  Jean Williams, a resident of Riverview Townhomes and an asthmatic, opposes increases in pollution by Northern Metals.
50.  Isabelle Harder, who had a letter referenced by CM Hofstede, had her own letter of opposition published separately.
51.  Jen Wilson, a resident of Riverview Townhomes, expresses concern regarding increased pollutants from Northern Metals.
52.  Shelby Williams, area of residence unknown but writes from a University of Minnesota email address and has a 612 phone number, states that although he believes Northern Metals to do important work in the community, he supports a full EIS.
53.  Mike Hansel of Barr Engineering in Minneapolis includes an email from CM Hofstede but does not state either his position or a position on behalf of Barr Engineering.
54.  Levi Martfeld, address unknown, opposes any change to the 1998 permit.
55.  The St. Anthony West Neighborhood Organization opposes any changes to the 1998 permit.
56.  Paul Labovits writes on behalf of the National Park Service and Department of the Interior.  He informs the MPCA that the site lies entirely within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.  That area has a Comprehensive Management Plan to preserve, protect, and enhance the resources of the river corridor.  The proposed permit is not consistent with that plan.  There are no fewer than three letters from this writer.
57.  The Above the Falls Citizen Advisory Committee asks for the permit application to be denied.
58.  Other letters from EJAM, Lara Norkus-Crampton, and Diadra Decker, who had previously submitted comments, are included and restate their opposition.
59.  Bill Kahn of southeast Minneapolis opposes increased pollution.
60.  A series of what appear to be duplicate letters are included, all in opposition.
61.  Northern Metals writes, obviously in support of their own application.
62.  The United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America Union write in support of Northern Metals.
63.  Karen Bernthal of northeast Minneapolis writes against granting the permit.


Johnny Northside! said...

I oppose the application of Northern Metals.

Johnny Northside! said...

I oppose the application of Northern Metals and I see such loosening of standards as a crystal clear case of "environmental injustice" in a working class neighborhood full of minority persons.

Johnny Northside! said...

New STrib article about this situaiton.