E-DEMOCRACY | Burning trash and growing vegetables

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From: andrea schaerf Date: Mar 07

So the air is more polluted due to our burning in downtown. The cars left lead and other toxins I dont know. So the city wants public gardens to grow vegetables for communities. Do the vegetables in vacant lots have soil ansd ‘air testing’ to know it is safe to eat. If any mercury or sulfer comes out does it go on food?
It seems like conflicting policies to support more buerning while the poor grow food.

From: Lara Norkus-Crampton RN Date: Mar 07

It seems reasonable that if you have a known regional polluter like HERC, and previous plume studies from the 1986 EIS predicting concentrations of HERC emissions landing in parts of the North Side and the South Side, and recent studies showing concentrations of asthma hospitalizations and elevated blood lead levels in or near these same areas, that it is time-27 years later-to have a full independent assessment of the public health impacts and the alternatives (like aggressive recycling) to this approach to waste management. These are the issues a new EIS could fully explore. This would be very useful information for the public and policy makers to have.

From: Alan Muller Date: 15:27

At 05:54 PM 3/7/2013 +1300, andrea schaerf wrote:
>So the air is more polluted due to our burning in downtown. The cars
>left lead and other toxins I dont know. So the city wants public
>gardens to grow
vegetables for communities. Do the vegetables in
>vacant lots have soil ansd ‘air testing’ to know it is safe to eat.
>If any mercury or sulfer comes out does it go on food?
>It seems like conflicting policies to support more buerning while
>the poor grow food.

Correct. And most every “Air Emissions Risk Analysis” of a big polluter, whether it be Northern Metals or the HERC garbage burner, or whatever, show the “farmer” scenario being the biggest health threat. Add chickens or goats to the mix and the pollutants can be concentrated ten times or so. Add to the fallout from current polluters the legacy of contaminated soil from past industrial activity, and lead from paint flaked off buildings … and urban agriculture gets to be a dicey business. Testing of soil and crops is *really* important to make sure we are not doing more harm than good to peoples’ health.

This issue has repeatedly been brought to the attention of those promoting gardening and “agriculture” in Minneapolis. It’s hardly a secret as every older industrial city has these problems. Yet they seem to be systematically ignoring/denying the problem. Even Cam didn’t mention it is his recent, otherwise very thoughtful, commentary on this list. Why? Why?

It’s one thing to babble about being a “green” “sustainable,” etc., place, and another to take off the blinders and do the real work of connecting the dots and facing the issues that are making life so hard, and sometimes unhealthy, for so many. So Minneapolis officials babble about the HERC as a source of “green” energy and magical garbage disposal, while promoting vegetable-growing under the belching stacks of a garbage incinerator, without, apparently, seeing the inherent conflict and absurdity.

I hope this is wrong, but rumor has it that the incoming chair of the Mpls Environmental Advisory Committee (CEAC) went from criticizing the garbage burner to the opposite, after Hennepin County started feeding money into her programs and activities. I’d be surprised if Covanta and Hennepin County haven’t put money into the “growing vegetables” efforts, with similar motives.

Since the controversy arose over expanded burning at the HERC, Hennepin County Environmental Services (Carl Michaud, Director) and Covanta have ramped up their programs of suborning the integrity of those who should be speaking out for clean air and health. Their reach is wide and the price of those they are buying is seldom more than a few thousand dollars. Pocket change compared to the money flowing through the incinerator scam.

Here’s a disgusting example: http://www.alanmuller.com/just-how-low-can-an-engo-go/

From: andrea schaerf Date: 18:30

My home was in the Superfund clean up area. I wasnt at a high enough are to replace all my soil but I did receive a set of suggestions that would scare the heck out of you.

See thread here.