Newspaper article

After Partial Shut-Down of Northern Metal, North Minneapolis Residents Push for Permanent Closure

Newspaper article

After Partial Shut-Down of Northern Metal, North Minneapolis Residents Push for Permanent Closure

Article excerpt

Environmentalism isn't typically met with a screaming fan base. But then again, environmental causes aren't typically led by popular Twin Cities' rock band Polica.

The group, whose lead singer lives in north Minneapolis, held an impromptu free concert at a private residence in northeast Minneapolis earlier this week in partnership with Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), to raise awareness of a metal recycling plant the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency believes may be contributing to high levels of atmospheric lead and other contaminates in the area.

Last week, Northern Metal Recycling had to shut down part of their north Minneapolis metal recycling plant after a Ramsey County District Judge ordered the company to idle part of their operations until the MPCA either issues a modified air permit for the facility or the company proves they aren't harming air quality in the area.

"We believe that Northern Metals is a significant contributor to the ongoing air violations in north Minneapolis and the court's decision is a great step forward for the people living in those neighborhoods," said MPCA Assistant Commissioner David Thorton in statement in August.

MPCA filed an injunction to temporarily shut down the plant earlier this summer and also filed to revoke the facility's permit after the agency discovered Northern Metal was conducting operations not approved in its current permit. Then, in late August, Ramsey County District Court Judge John Guthmann moved forward with the injunction, ordering the plant to temporarily halt part of the operation -- the facility's metals recovery plant and an attached rain and snow shed -- by Sept. 2, but allowing the metal shredder to continue operating. Northern Metal requested a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge to appeal the permit revocation process. A ruling on that request is expected this fall.

Northern Metal said last month that they've already made significant improvements to their plant over the summer and that they're submitting those improvements for approval by the MPCA. …

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