Tag Archives | air pollution

From the Mankato Free Press: “Role of Wilmarth waste burning plant still contentious”


Veteran reporter Tim Krohn did an extensive story on this.

MANKATO — Since the late 1980s the Wilmarth plant in Mankato has been burning processed waste from counties in the Twin Cities and the region.

Before the plant was approved, local environmentalists fought bitterly against it, arguing the toxins from emissions would endanger people’s health. But over the decades the plant has operated at near capacity, largely without notice and hasn’t had any serious violations of its permit.

Now, as Rasmsey and Washington counties prepare to increase the amount of garbage that is processed and burned, Xcel Energy says the Wilmarth plant and another they operate in Red Wing play a key role in reducing the amount of waste going into landfills and producing electricity, with the Mankato plant’s two turbines making 20 megawatts of power.

But a Red Wing activist who’s long opposed the amount of waste being burned says Xcel shouldn’t be in the business of incineration and that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is misguided in pushing for waste incineration and doesn’t put strict enough limits on stack pollution.

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City of Red Wing, MN, screws up.

Xcel Energy 1940s coal plant burning garbage from Ramsey and Washington counties in Red Wing (Goodhue County).  Permit expired since June, 2009

Xcel Energy 1940s coal plant burning garbage from Ramsey and Washington counties in Red Wing (Goodhue County). Permit expired since June, 2009

As a long-time opponent of nuclear power and garbage incineration, and advocate for environmental concerns, it’s ironic to find myself living in a city of 16,000 people containing two nuclear reactors, two garbage incinerator smokestacks, a nuclear waste parking lot, and various garbage and ash dumps both open and closed.  Still, there are many nice things about Red Wing including it’s picturesque location on the Mississippi River and a generally friendly, low-crime atmosphere.

Still, it is hard to understand how the city government can be screwing up so many things related to the environment and public health. Continue Reading →

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EPA Community Air Monitoring Training Webinar

Webinar:  Thursday 9 July 2015, 09:00 AM – 12:30 PM [Note:  8 (not 10!) Central Time!] Continue Reading →

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MPCA, Monday: “Air quality in the northern 2/3 of Minnesota is unhealthy for everyone.”


See “current conditions” here.

Conditions are reported as CODE RED–over 150–in Brainerd, Ely, and Virginia. Duluth is reporting 149. This is just for “fine particles (PM2.5). Ozone levels are low at the moment but are forecast to increase to CODE YELLOW levels later in the week.

Fine particles, ozone, heat, humidity and allergens (pollen, mold, etc.) are cumulative health stressors. Take the health threat seriously! Continue Reading →

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