By Paul Ploumis (ScrapMonster Author)
June 10, 2016 07:52:54 AM
MINNEAPOLIS (Scrap Monster): The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and Northern Metal Recycling at 2800 Pacific St. have reached an agreement on the plan submitted by the recycling facility to reduce harmful emissions from metal-shredding operations.
The state regulator had earlier demanded the Court to order immediate suspension of the facility. However, Ramsey County District Judge John Guthmann declined the demand, thereby allowing the company to operate for time being. However, he made the two parties come into agreement on a detailed plan to reduce dust emission at the site.
According to the agreement, Northern Metal will have to submit detailed drawings with regards to dust-control work within one week. The work as per the plan must be completed by end-July. The company must implement necessary systems to control the release of potentially harmful dust from the shredder and nearby buildings. Both parties are yet to reach a consensus on whether the emission levels are applicable to the building housing the shredder or only to the shredder machine.
The company must ensure that the shredder and the control equipment are collecting dust at permitted rate. The nearby building which processes shredder residue must also be equipped with proper dust collection system. The collection mechanism should be installed in the nearby shed, if required, the agreement noted.
Meantime, the state regulator has stated that it will continue to pursue revocation of the metal recycling facility’s air-quality permit. According to them, the shredder dust emissions contain toxic chemicals including lead. The company had not disclosed truthful emissions while obtaining the permit in 2012. Also, it has added additional emissions sources without necessary permits, MPCA noted.
Following complaints by local residents, MPCA had begun monitoring the site in the industrial area for Total Suspended Particulates (TSP) in October 2014. A second monitoring site had begun operations in 2015 as well.
The monitors measured elevated levels of airborne particulate and heavy metals. The air monitoring results had identified violations of the daily and annual TSP standards. It also identified elevated lead concentrations, measured at 80% of the national lead standard and elevated heavy metal concentrations of chromium, cobalt, and nickel measured above chronic inhalation health risk guidelines.
The MPCA study noted that the air pollution may cause adverse health effects to neighboring population. Elevated TSP concentrations are likely to lead to respiratory irritation and nuisance dust. Elevated lead levels may lead to behavioral and development problems in young children and cardiovascular risks in adults. Elevated metal concentrations may contribute to adverse health conditions including cancer. A review study carried out by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has found that air quality issues may cause potential harm over a long period.
About Northern Metal Recycling
The company website claims the company to be the Upper Midwest’s leading metal recycler. It handles over 100 grades of ferrous and nonferrous metals. Northern Metal Recycling, headquartered in Minneapolis, is a subsidiary of European Metal Recycling. It has 12 locations in Minnesota, two in Wisconsin and three in North Dakota, including Milnor and Bismarck.