Environmental Justice in the Shoreham Area

The quarterly meeting of the Shoreham Area Advisory Committee on Monday, July 8, included Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (PCA) employee Ned Brooks, a member of the PCA’s Environmental Justice Steering Team.

What is “environmental justice”? In the practice of the PCA, and according to Mr. Brooks, it is the assurance that no Minnesotan will be unduly subjected to risk from environmental pollution. The stated aim is to improve the involvement of lower income and minority groups—as someone pointed out, the demographic profile present in the crowd at the Northeast parade—in the planning and implementation of cleanup processes.

Several of those present made an environmental justice case for the issue of “vapor intrusion” into homes east of Central Avenue from the Shoreham site; that involves pollution in the form of vapors from chemicals migrating via groundwater and penetrating foundation walls and slabs into those homes—a considerable health risk.

In addition, there was discussion of the possibility of seeking a $50,000 grant that would be used, at least in part, to hire a technical expert to review and interpret the voluminous reports on the pollution remediation process that has been ongoing since 2006.

The public may review an “online repository” of much of those documents at this address. The Shoreham Area Advisory Committee’s web site is at this address.

[ Clarification from Gayle Bonneville, SAAC: The $50,000 federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) grants at this point don't seem to be available for Shoreham-related purposes since it is a state Super Fund site and not a federal Super Fund site." ]

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