Northern Metals hears community concerns about air pollution

For nearly two decades, locals have expressed concerns about Northern Metals of Minneapolis’ links to air pollution - specifically, small airborne particles including lead.

The company held its first mandatory community outreach meeting on Tuesday in an effort to address the elevated lead levels discovered by the city.

"The particulate came out well below the limits, and most of the metals we could not detect," said Rich Trzupek of Trinity Consultants.

A 2017 study run by Illinois-based Trinity Consultants showed levels from the stack itself well within federal standards.

But, worry among residents continues.

"I still feel, personally, that the limits should be lower and stricter,” said Mariam Slayhi, president of the Bottineau Neighborhood Association.

In Minneapolis' Hawthorne neighborhood, lead levels in children remain among the highest statewide.

Northern Metals did agree to a multi-million dollar settlement with the City of Minneapolis in early 2017, requiring the metal shredding operation to shut down by 2019.

"I think we really need to take a look at what we have going on in these areas,” Slayhi said. “Why do we have heavy industry going on in a city area?"