Recent Articles

Please don’t pollute: drains to Mississippi River

The Mississippi River flows quietly through our hometown and most of us would never intentionally pollute it. But all it takes is one big rain, and the stuff on the streets — pop bottles, dirt, oil — spills down the storm drains and right into the river. Renisha Gray, youth manager for Emerge, says that protecting storm drains from litter is important. A nonprofit dedicated to creating workforce and housing programs, Emerge partnered with Hennepin County for a recent beautification project — employing youth street crews to stencil messages on storm drains throughout North Minneapolis. The stencil message — “Please Don’t Pollute: Drains to Mississippi River” — is a reminder that storm water run-off doesn’t go to a waste water facility to be filtered and cleaned. Continue Reading →

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U of M study: Race matters most in determining who breathes bad air

The Twin Cities earn yet another racial disparities distinction

By Isaac Peterson
Contributing Writer

In April, researchers at the University of Minnesota released a study showing that people of color in the U.S. typically breathe air that is 38 percent more polluted compared to their White counterparts. The study concluded that race and income are major contributing factors in how much polluted air is breathed, but that race matters more than income. Using satellite observations, data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and maps of land uses, the research team was able to compare the geographic data with Census figures to determine socioeconomic disparities in air pollution exposure. The study was national in scope and provided information on air pollution on a nationwide basis, broken down to show comparisons between urban and rural areas as well by city, county, and state. The pollutant the study tracked was nitrogen dioxide (NO2), one of the main pollutants targeted by the EPA, which considers it one of the most significant threats to air quality. Continue Reading →

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