Smith Foundry emissions are within permit, MPCA says

Smith Foundry (FOX 9)

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency met with neighbors on Wednesday to discuss new findings that show the Smith Foundry, in Minneapolis' East Phillips neighborhood, isn't violating emission regulations.

The review follows concerns expressed by neighbors that the foundry is contributing to negative health impacts for residents.

In November, residents raised old concerns about the smoke and fumes from the nearly century-old business. During an inspection during the previous May, the EPA said the Smith Foundry had violated the Clean Air Act, emitting fine particulates at twice the amount allowed by the EPA since 2018.

However, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency rejected the EPA's reported findings, saying it hadn't found any violations of state or federal law at the facility.

The MPCA has since asked the foundry to test, monitor, and report its emissions and submit its raw materials used at the facility.

Along with that, a stack test analyzed by the MPCA and EPA found that the foundry was operating within its limits but there were low levels of lead being emitted.

During two meetings on Wednesday, the MPCA met with neighbors to discuss the findings and their concerns about the facility.

Activists, who spoke before one of the meetings, said any lead emissions isn't acceptable and the permit the facility operates on is outdated.

The state says it is reworking the foundry's permit. It plans to hold a public meeting on the draft permit in late 2024.

Separate from the foundry, the state said Thursday it's hopeful air quality in the area will improve with the closure of Bituminous Roadways, an asphalt facility next to the foundry, that is slated for the end of 2025.