Last week, residents of Minneapolis flocked to a meeting held by Neighborhoods Organizing for Chance (NOC) to discuss their concerns about Northern Metal Recycling, a recycling plant that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) believes may be a contributor to a recent spike in lead contamination.
Throughout this last year, concerns about air quality in north Minneapolis neighborhoods have been brought up and discussed in several NOC meetings. In an effort to seriously look into this issue, the MPCA is trying to put a stop to Northern’s operations until officials can re-evaluate the facility.
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When Channy Leaneagh moved to north Minneapolis three years ago, she didn’t anticipate that the neighborhood’s air quality would be a problem. But last year, her 7-year-old daughter missed over a week of school. “Every single one of those [days] she was home sick with asthma,” she said.
Leaneagh was just one of dozens of concerned residents who attended a meeting last week hosted by Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC) surrounding Northern Metal Recycling, a north Minneapolis metal recycling plant the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency believes may be contributing to dangerous levels of atmospheric lead and other hazardous metals.
NOC organizer Janiece Watts said over the last year NOC has held several meetings to find out what concerns north Minneapolis residents have regarding their neighborhoods, and air quality has come up time and time again. And in a recent survey NOC conducted in north Minneapolis, 83 percent of the 408 people who took the survey said they had or knew someone who had asthma.