On September 23 it was announced that a settlement has been reached between Northern Metals and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) regarding their facility in North Minneapolis. Under the terms of the settlement, Northern Metals will pay a two hundred-thousand-dollar civil penalty and operations of the metal shredder ended permanently as of 6 p.m. September 23. In response, Senator Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) and Senator Bobby Joe Champion (DFL-Minneapolis) released the following statement:
“It is upsetting and disheartening that Northern Metals ignored state law and their permit, putting the health and wellbeing of the community and their employees at risk. Their actions eroded the trust needed for the system to work. Furthermore, we understand and share the frustration of community members in their pursuit of environmental justice through open court proceedings. While MPCA looks out for the best interests of the state, we also believe these neighborhoods deserve to have their voices heard and compensation for damages.
The concerns of the neighbors of this facility were proven correct today, revealing intentional deception on the part of Northern Metals. We thank them for their persistence and commitment to improving the neighborhood and their organizing to close the Northern Metals shredder. We will be discussing next steps with Attorney General Ellison and encourage local and federal authorities to continue to investigate and pursue all avenues to address any criminal wrongdoing that occurred in this situation.”