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News of EPA Citizens Panel on Fridley Superfund Sites Sparks Comment

Fridley Cancer Cluster Facebook page members, MN Pollution Control Agency, Erin Brockovich investigator responded to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency move.

People around Fridley reacted to the announcement Tuesday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will form a citizens advisory group focused on the city's polluted Superfund sites. 

"Fridley Cancer Cluster" Facebook group founder Jason McCarty was first to comment on state Rep.-elect Connie Bernardy's post with the news of the EPA' announcement: "Can I get a hell yes on this?"

"Traction is starting to occur...this is another great development," responded Don Roux.

"Our baby steps are getting bigger!!!" wrote Jenny Terway Petersen.

McCarty teased Nov. 2 that good news was coming and credited "headway" from a Nov. 1 meeting between group members and staffers from the offices of U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken. (Neither senate office returned messages requesting comment Wednesday.)

One commenter at the Facebook page was Bob Bowcock, the investigator who led a June townhall meeting on cancer concerns in Fridley with famed consumer advocate Erin Brockovich: "This is great news Jason. It is a beginning. I will be happy to help as best I can."

Fridley City Councilmember Ann Bolkcom said by email Wednesday:

I think this is great. Sharing information and learning the facts and figures in an accurate concise process will be great. Hopefully this committee can help spread and educate others on water qualities, superfund sites, etc. Looking forward to great work from this advisory group. I will be involved as much as asked to.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) issued a statement, via spokesperson Sam Brungardt:

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency welcomes the formation of a Citizens Advisory Group for the federal Superfund sites in Fridley.  Events over the past year have shown that Fridley residents feel they have not been kept informed about remediation activities at these sites. This led to the City of Fridley, the MPCA, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the EPA hosting a Fridley Health Fair on Aug. 22, 2012. However, comments by some of those attending that event made it clear that we need to increase our efforts to keep Fridley residents informed even more. We understand Fridley residents’ concerns about these sites’ possible effect on health. The best way for them to decide whether their concerns are valid is for the EPA and the MPCA to share as much information as possible about these sites and remediation work done at them. A Citizens Advisory Group provides Fridley residents a mechanism to express their concerns and provide input.

Fridley City Manager Bill Burns noted in an email that "this is one of the things that the MPCA talked about doing. Check out the cable show that I did with them on 8-15-12." (See the video at a separate post: "

What's your response to the new EPA citizens group? Leave a comment below.

jeff loven November 15, 2012 at 08:27 AM
I think the best way to decide if you are safe is to have soil, water and soil vapor intrusion testing done. This would eliminate any fears of what you may be exposed to now. But there is no way to tell for sure if, in fact the discolored water coming out of our taps was actually safe back about 6 years ago or so. Who knows what we were actually exposed to back then. I still find it odd that they do not test most areas where people actually live...

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