St. Anthony Parkway Bridge Closure/Reroute Info

Planning work on the St. Anthony Parkway Bridge replacement project continues, along with public meetings; the next Citizens Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 16th from 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. in the Activity Room at River Village. (The March St Anthony CAC #7_Meeting Minutes are available in PDF.) Other information on the bridge replacement project, including a rough timetable, is on a dedicated web site. The rerouting of traffic necessitated by the closure is detailed in this map:


Air Quality Study Redux

The next sampling event has been scheduled. It will run from 5 p.m. on Friday May 9th through 5 p.m. on Monday May 12th. In order to participate you need to be available to pick-up and drop-off your canister, as well as turn it on and off at the designated times. Pick-up for the canisters will be:

·         Wednesday, May 7th 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Public Service Center: 250 S 4th St, Minneapolis 55415 – more information will follow. There will be no training. You can come anytime during the 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. window to pick up your canister. If you are unable to make this time, but need to pick up your canister at the Public Service Center, you may contact me to make alternate arrangements.

·     Monday, May 5th through Friday, May 9th between 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. at Pace Analytical: 1700 SE Elm St, Minneapolis 55414 – Again, there will be no training. You can come anytime during Pace’s business hours the week of May 5th to pick up your canister. Please pick-up your canister so you can open it by 5pm on Friday, May 9th.

Please reply to Jennifer Lansing, City of Minneapolis Environmental Services – Office: 612-673-3023 Cell: 612-709-9977 Jenni.Lansing@minneapolismn.govby March 26th and let her know if you are interested in and able to participate in the May sampling event. Please include your name and address with zip code if you are able to participate.

Agenda: Board Meeting Feb. 24

Board Members Jane McCarney, Jeff Schalles, Darielle Dannon,  Matt Stellphlug and Irro Mohamed
Other: Staff: Liz Wielinski
6:30 – Call to Order
6:31 – Approval of the Agenda
6:31- Official acceptance of resignation by Peter Doughty from the board so he can continue as website administrator by contract
6:33 – Approval of minutes of November 19, 2013 and summary of Jan. 24, 2014 gathering
6:35- Treasurer’s Report
6:40 – Old Business

  • Update on Ward 1 issues by CM  Kevin Reich
  • Update by Darielle on the raingarden project with Metro Blooms/ and lottery
  • Gateway Gardens, Sue Bembenek
  • Current update on St Anthony Parkway bridge replacement, Kristin Petersen
  • Review of MNDOT Roadside Project Application

7:30 – New Business

  • Draft comment letter to NCR about their emergency relief fund
  • First look at proposed 2014-2016 CPP/NPP budget  (very preliminary)

7:45- Announcements/ Communications

Hennepin County is hosting the first public workshop for the Lowry Avenue Northeast plan:  Thurs., February 27, 6pm – 8pm  Edison High School Media Room

2nd Annual Community Connections Conference Common Ground: A City that Works for All

Starting March 17, the City of Minneapolis is offering–via TreeTrust–more than 1,000 trees to Minneapolis property owners, including residents, businesses and nonprofits for $25.

8:00 – Adjourn


Cleanup at Cedar Service Site

Update December 2013 from Canadian Pacific on the Cedar Service site (west side of Canadian Pacific (CP) Shoreham Facility near University Avenue and 31st Avenue NE):  As a result of operations conducted by wood-treating businesses that leased the site between 1915 and 1972, soils at the site were contaminated with pentachlorophenol (PCP) and poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and groundwater was contaminated with PCP. The soil cleanup is complete and a Soil Response Action Report describing implementation of the cleanup was approved by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) in September 2008.

The final Groundwater Response Action involves pumping from two deep wells: one near 27th Avenue NE and 6th Street NE, the other near University Avenue’s bridge over the railroad tracks north of 27th Avenue. The water is treated on-site to remove PCP. The groundwater extraction and treatment system continues to operate, extracting 34 gallons per minute from the two wells; since operation began in December 2006, more than 3,700 pounds of PCP have been removed. CP has recently invested in two enhancements to the system: an infiltration basin (constructed in December 2012), to which treated groundwater is discharged under permit by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, to replenish the groundwater of the area; and, in 2013, two solar panels to supply energy to the pumping system.

Water levels and groundwater chemistry are regularly monitored by CP, using a network of monitoring wells, and the results reported to MDA. CP and MDA consider the trends in groundwater concentrations of the pollutants to be favorable.


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." ]

That’s It?

Once upon a time, after the great tear-up and rebuilding of Central Avenue, there was an effort to create a green median (in place of the previous concrete median) that included small trees. It started out well, but it seemed that maintenance wasn’t part of the plan.

Back to the drawing board. A number of people, including some from Columbia Park and Waite Park neighborhoods, got together to figure out how to do it better and include plants that would better endure salt spray and other indignities. And so it was done.

That too started out looking good, although some weren’t so sure when, soon after, mowers were turned loose to level the verdant growth. “It’s necessary,” was the word. And so folks watched for the new and better plan to be revealed in time.

Another winter has gone by, and another spring, and this is how it looks:

Central Avenue median at Columbia Parkway, 8 June 2013

Shouldn’t, by now, the median be decorated by something other than a typical collection of volunteer plants and roadside trash?