HERC

Recent Articles

Report: Mpls garbage burner already a ‘significant source’ of airborne toxins

Planned expansion would likely increase harm to communities of color
 
A new report by the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG) shows that if the downtown garbage burner continues with a planned 20 percent increase in the amount of waste being incinerated, it would likely increase harm to low-income communities and communities of color in Minneapolis. Community members and representatives from public health and environmental justice organizations responded quickly with their concerns. “For too long, communities of color and low-income communities have been the dumping ground when it comes to trash and toxins, “ said Karen Monahan, a resident of Minneapolis and an environmental justice activist with the Sierra Club. “The HERC garbage burner is the third largest in the country when it comes to racial disparities. Our children deserve clean air, clean water and good soil to grow food. Continue Reading →

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Waste disposal poses pollution threat to Northsiders

 

 

 

 

 

News Analysis

By Lissa Jones

Contributing Writer

 

Proposals are currently under consideration to significantly increase emissions from Minneapolis polluters that have a disproportionate impact on low-income communities of color such as those in Phillips and on the North Side. On April 3, several community organizations sponsored a “Reality Check” on air and water pollution at Kwanzaa Community Church to discuss the potential impact of the proposed increases on the health of these neighborhoods and the people who live there. The event flyer invited the community to “hear about the status of Northern Metals and HERC (the garbage burner) in North Minneapolis and how their emissions may impact your health.” About 25 people were in attendance, including State Representatives Karen Clark and Joe Mullery, as the panel presented their findings and concerns to the group.  

 

 

 

The panelists were Jeff Skrenes of the Hawthorne Community Council; Lea Foushee, environmental justice director with the North American Water Office, a nonprofit organization chartered in 1982 to educate people about solutions to environmental problems; Lara Norkus-Crampton, a nurse, garbage burner activist, and former planning commissioner for the City of Minneapolis; and Beverly Propes, a public health nurse. Their presentations covered the status of the legal work on Northern Metals; examined the correlation between the pollution emissions and health outcomes for children attending school in the affected neighborhoods; reviewed studies from across the world detailing the health effects of pollution emissions on communities with incinerators; and looking at alternative solutions through the lens of a community organizer. Continue Reading →

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