City leaders to give update on air quality at Smith Foundry

Minneapolis leaders to discuss future of Smith Foundry

A city council commission will meet at 4 p.m. and a community meeting will be held Wednesday.

Minneapolis city leaders are set to discuss the latest air quality concerns regarding the Smith Foundry on Tuesday.

The update comes after a report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in November, which revealed the foundry had been exceeding particulate matter emission limits in Minnesota since 2018.

Since then, more tests have been happening at the foundry.

Additional testing over a three-day period in December showed the foundry isn’t emitting more particulate matter than allowed by its permit, according to officials with the state.

However, the testing did detect low amounts of lead coming from the facility, but the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) says two new air quality monitors were installed last month.

According to EPA documents obtained by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, the MPCA “conducted air pollutant monitoring” around the Foundry’s perimeter in October 2022 and April 2023 — both times, finding “elevated” levels of airborne particulate matter.

The EPA followed up in May of 2023 — when inspectors found cracks and holes in the Foundry’s ductwork.

They also looked at the facility’s air emissions reports from 2018 to 2022. Those records show particulate matter emissions were more than twice the amount permitted by state regulators.

RELATED: Residents rally to close the Smith Iron Foundry after EPA documents show high levels of particulate matter around the facility

A City Council commission is set to meet at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Community members are also planning to gather at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

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