The New MPCA Philosophy and Its Impact

canadian goose jacket ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST LESLIE DAVIS AND HIS FRIEND DAN Canada Goose Outlet MCCARTHY stand on a bank above the Mississippi River. Below them is a small lake surrounded by a marsh, a backwater that connects with the main channel of the canada goose coats on sale river. canadian goose jacket

canada goose factory sale The two men are on an unofficial scouting trip, checking out containment efforts at a site where last canada goose outlet summer, an employee of the Koch Refinery discovered gasoline seeping out of the ground and into the backwater. McCarthy peers through a spotting scope at a bright red sign at the edge of the water. canada goose factory sale

Davis: That’s pretty rinky dink, look at that stick holding up the boom right over there. Huh! Anything can leak right under it, couldn’t it Dan? Like, look right over here.

McCarthy: Take a picture of it, Leslie.

Canada Goose Coats On Sale The gasoline that hit this Mississippi backwater traveled more than a mile underground. It came from Koch Refinery tank leaks discovered in 1992. Although the leaks themselves were quickly repaired, hundreds of thousands of gallons had already escaped, and they have been spreading underground ever since. Only after gasoline nearly hit the Mississippi last summer did the cheap Canada Goose Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) begin ordering aggressive cleanup of that and numerous other spills and leaks. Now, up to 1 million gallons of gasoline are floating free and dissolved in the groundwater under the refinery. Canada Goose Coats On Sale

canada goose coats Critics such as Ginny Yingling, Minnesota director of the Sierra Club, say the MPCA’s lax enforcement stems from a new philosophy at the agency that industries are customers to be served rather than challenged. canada goose coats

cheap Canada Goose Yingling: What we’re seeing is a culture that they call “customer service,” which is all fine and good when they’re talking about providing prompt, friendly, courteous service, but when it means you are accommodating people who are not following the rules, that’s a corrupt philosophy. cheap Canada Goose

The MPCA relied heavily on consultants hired by Koch, who predicted the gasoline would move much more slowly than it actually did. Critics say a trusting, cooperative approach simply doesn’t work for companies like Koch, which is under federal investigation here and in other buy canada goose jacket states.

canada goose The MPCA is also under fire on another front. The agency’s mission is to protect the state’s environment, but its officials say it’s not up to them to stop environmentally questionable projects. Their job is to canadian goose jacket write permits that will reduce any environmental damage. canada goose

Audio from videotape: Notice the shrapnel fence that surrounds the facility because so many things are emitted quickly from here, you literally have explosions and things fly out of the machine and quickly into the surrounding areas.

canada goose coats on sale Minneapolis City Council member Joe Biernat watches a video of a giant metal shredder known as a Kondirator. The machines are five stories tall and emit high levels of noise, vibration, and dust. A scrap iron company plans to build one on the city’s Mississippi riverfront an area the state and federal government both say needs less industry and more green space. The city has appealed to the MPCA to stop the project, but the agency plans to let it move ahead with minimal environmental studies. MPCA officials say the city’s objections to the Kondirator are a local land use issue, not the purview of the MPCA. Council member Biernat says the buy canada goose jacket cheap agency is abdicating its responsibility. canada goose coats on sale

canada goose clearance Biernat: The PCA is a department of over 900 people. The city of Minneapolis has an environmental management team of about six people. We don’t have the personnel to be out there watching to make sure canada goose black friday sale that it is in fact complying with the environmental regulations that PCA said it would. And if it’s out of compliance what do we do? Do we have the ability to shut that machine down? I would say we wouldn’t. canada goose clearance

Critics say the MPCA has changed from an overall environmental watchdog to an agency focused on issuing permits without considering the larger consequences of the proposals it approves. Critics say the agency has used this kind of tunnel vision not just on the Kondirator, but Canada Goose Parka on the highly charged issue of large scale animal feedlots. Kris Sigford of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy says the MPCA has issued permit after permit without once requiring studies to address the cumulative effects of pollution from large feedlots.

buy canada goose jacket cheap Sigford: We have four major river basins severely affected by feedlots, we have folks that are breathing hydrogen sulfide at 18,000 parts per billion, which is 600 times canada goose over the standard, and yet we’ve never found that there might be a potentially significant Canada Goose sale effect down the road when these things are undergoing environmental review. I think that process is just out of whack. buy canada goose jacket cheap

canada goose black friday sale Critics also say the agency is less willing than it has been in the past to write tough environmental regulations. In the 1980s, over strenuous objections from industry, Minnesota imposed strict standards on emissions that cause acid rain. An agency staff member, who declined to be interviewed, says under the current administration, efforts to write standards on toxic air pollutants have “had the rug pulled out from under them.” “We were a leader in the past, we’re not a leader on the issue of toxic air pollutants,” the staff member says, noting that many other states now have such rules in place. canada goose black friday sale

Canada Goose sale Minnesota Pollution Control Agency commissioner Peder Larson insists Canada Goose online the agency is still out in front when it comes to environmental protection. He says while it’s true the agency takes a less Canada Goose Jackets confrontational stance with industry now than in the past, it is not soft on companies that pollute. He says the charges the agency should have cracked down long ago on the Koch refinery have the benefit of hindsight. Canada Goose sale

Larson: We had best scientific evidence. We’re not perfect and it’s difficult to predict what’s going to happen 140 feet under the surface of the ground. We did find the petroleum. It didn’t get into the Mississippi. It didn’t have any significant effect on the environment or human heath. We’ve got the situation being cleaned up right now.

Larson says the agency has not narrowed its focus. He says although critics may say development canada goose clearance sale projects need to considered in a larger environmental context, those decisions must rest with local officials, not the MPCA. It’s just the way Minnesota government works and government works across the country.

canada goose clearance sale On the issue of big feedlots, Larson says the agency has taken tough action behind the scenes that has stopped some feedlot proposals, and is now doing studies that will look at the cumulative effect of large feedlots. canada goose clearance sale

canada goose uk outlet Larson insists the agency’s current philosophy working with, rather than confronting, industry is effective and is the way of the future. canada goose uk outlet

uk canada goose outlet Larson: Collaborative processes are what we need canada goose store more of in order to address today’s problems. That may not have been true of the problems that we had to address when we were created in the 60s and 70s, but this is Vice President Al Gore’s charge to America, to protect the environment through collaborative processes. uk canada goose outlet

buy canada goose jacket The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is now in the midst of a massive reorganization, moving the organization toward this new philosophy. But if high profile problems like the contamination from canada goose clearance feedlots and the Koch refinery continue to surface, that philosophy is likely to be challenged buy canada goose jacket.

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