Community Foe Activist's Mayor Jeff Huber, City Councilmen Tom Carr and Dennis Kaup Seek to Amend Cities Past Mistake of Allowing Wildwood Elementary to be Constructed on Toxic Lands; Immediate Threat to Students
GRANT, MN - At the Grant City Council Meeting this past week, Mayor Huber and Councilmen Carr and Kaup decided they are going to attempt to add new language to proposed Minnesota Senate File Bill 1837. This proposed legislation prohibits new school construction on former toxic landfills and also requires annual parent & staff notification for existing schools if toxins exceed residential screening values. Originally both Huber and Carr voted to approve the Wildwood Elementary to be constructed at the former toxic landfill superfund site in April 2011.
Mayor Huber Took Ownership of Drafting Additional Language to be Added to Proposed School Landfill Bill
Huber believes the transfer station in close proximity to the school poses a immediate risk to the health, safety and welfare of children attending Wildwood Elementary. Huber proposed that the following language be immediately added to the proposed bill:
"All commercial waste transfer operations, dumps, landfills or other similar operations involving the transporting, sorting, dumping or recycling of waste materials within 1/2 mile radius of school property shall have the following reporting and oversight requirements. Once per year, independent ground testing of the site and any pond or pooled runoff waters shall be mandated, results sent to the MPCA and School district, annual aerials of the site to be taken and submitted to MPCA and School district, no burning permits shall be issued to such sites and absolutely no burning of any kind will be allowed on these sites. A yearly review of State and Federal environmental rules shall be conducted at the site to ensure the materials are handled properly and professionally. City, State and Federal staff to ensure the Health, Welfare and Safety of these sites, especially those contiguous to school property, may carry out onsite inspections at any time during business hours no notice required. City, County and State retain the right to regularly review permitting documents CUP's or other permissions for compliance and adherence to Health, Welfare and Safety regulations as well as compliance with permitted conditions.
Councilman Larry Lanoux Drafted and Revised Proposed School Landfill Bill Over Past Six Years With Help of Several State Agencies
Minnesota Senate File Bill 1837 was originally drafted by Grant City Councilman Larry Lanoux, who has been working with state legislators for five to six years on trying to get the bill passed in to law. Lanoux stated the proposed bill has been drafted and revised numerous times in working in conjunction with the Federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), MPCA (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency), MDH (Minnesota Department of Health) and a Minnesota State Revisor. Lanoux feels the proposed bill has protection for all children across Minnesota, it also already covers waste transfer dump stations. Lanoux has consulted with Environmentalist Erin Brockovich who wrote to Lanoux "The best cure for cancer is prevention, awareness, and early detection. Your Bill addresses all three." Brockovich has committed to speak on the Minnesota Senate Floor to address these issues once the bill is heard by the Minnesota Senate Environmental Committee.
Lanoux stated the bill is not only about Wildwood Elementary, but the school being sited on a former superfund site has brought the issue to the forefront. Wildwood Elementary has now been added to a National Database for Toxic Schools Across America. It is the only elementary school in Minnesota built on a "Brownfield Site" or environmentally reclaimed contaminated land.