- Minneapolis metal recycler Alliance Recycling Group has reached a voluntary agreement with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to help improve air quality in an industrial area of the city, as reported by CBS Minnesota.
- Alliance has committed to multiple strategies in an effort to reduce and minimize the amount of dust created. Some steps include sweeping more paved areas, placing materials on railcars instead of dropping them and limiting the pounding or tamping of materials on railcars.
- Air monitors started detecting levels of particulate matter above ambient air quality standards in 2014 and elevated levels of lead were detected earlier this year.
MPCA staff have been talking to local businesses about ways to adapt their operations since air quality levels began to pose a health concern. While many have been receptive, MPCA said that Alliance is the first one to sign an official agreement to reduce particulate matter emissions.
“It really wasn’t a difficult choice for us," said Larry Zweigbaum, environmental officer of Alliance Recycling Group, in a press release. "We want to provide the highest level of pollution protection for our workers, our customers, our vendors and neighbors of this industrial area. We found our negotiation with the MPCA to be constructive, honest and productive."
MPCA's interactions with another local operation, Northern Metal Recycling, have been less cordial. The state announced its intention to revoke Northern Metal's air permit in May and both sides have been engaged in legal issues since then. This has resulted in the company having to temporarily shut down part of its site as they work with state officials to come into compliance, a result that Alliance and other local recyclers would surely like to avoid.