The City of Minneapolis has just completed an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) for the demolition of the former Roof Depot site in the East Phillips neighborhood. 


An Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) is a document that lays out details of a proposed project and its potential impact on the environment. An EAW helps determine if further environmental review is necessary, such as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). However, the City’s current EAW is flawed and leaves out decades of cumulative pollution and the negative health impacts our low-income, BIPOC community has experienced. 


Here is the latest update from the city planner, Hilary Dvorak:

The public comment period for the discretionary EAW for the Hiawatha Maintenance Facility Expansion project ended on March 25, 2021, at 4 pm. At the close of the public comment period, the RGU received seven state agency comments and approximately 1,000 comments from other organizations and the public. Minn. R. 4410.1700, subd. 2a(B) permits the RGU to postpone the decision on the need for an EIS in order to obtain information necessary to a reasoned decision about the potential for, or significance of, one or more possible environmental impacts. In order to reasonably review and assess the information provided in this unprecedented amount of public comment, the RGU is postponing the decision on the need for an EIS for an additional 30 days, until May 24, 2021.

At this time, the new schedule for the EAW is BIHZ Committee on May 4, 2021, at 1:30 pm, and City Council on May 14, 2021, at 9:30 am.

The public comment period has ended, but DON’T STOP NOW.  Continue sending your comments to Council Members; The mayor also must sign off on this. So, don’t forget to include him when you’re sending comments: Ask them why the City doesn’t follow State Clark/Berglin Environmental Justice law? Ask them why their project violates the 2040 plan, why it ignores Green Zone policy, why it ignores Health Disparities of HIA, and why it ignores Climate Crisis guidelines and Racial Crisis guidelines.


  • The EAW fails to take into account that East Phillips is an environmental justice area.
  • As a designated Green Zone, East Phillips should be prioritized in pollution reduction and health-oriented green investment.
  • The EAW has not addressed the cumulative impacts of the Hiawatha Expansion project.
  • The nature and extent of potential air pollution caused by the Hiawatha Expansion project is inadequately assessed.
  • Increased traffic-related air pollution would occur in the community surrounding the Hiawatha Expansion project, causing harms that should be assessed in an EIS.
  • The EAW identifies a toxic chemical plume present in groundwater under the Roof Depot site.
  • The sampling and analysis of soils and fill beneath the Roof Depot site and the surrounding paved surfaces is inadequate.
  • The EAW fails to describe the cumulative impact on local roadway traffic.
  • The EAW does not adequately address climate change impacts.
  • The EAW makes unsupported claims about the benefits of the Hiawatha expansion project to the surrounding community.


Sign the petition (button below).

Donate at GoFundMe (button below). 

Volunteer! We host meetings every Wednesday evening open to all! 

Contact to get involved.

East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) is suing the City of Minneapolis, and we need your help. 

The City of Minneapolis plans to relocate and expand their Public Works maintenance yard into our East Phillips neighborhood–a plan that  will bring more  pollution to our already overburdened community. Additionally, they refuse to have good faith discussions about our alternative community-based development project that would ensure environmental justice for our neighborhood. East Phillip neighborhood residents are predominantly low-income Native American, Latinx, African American, East African and other historically marginalized residents.

We can’t say it enough! We need your help raising funds for legal expenses: to post bond to stop the City’s proposed demolition of the Roof Depot, to have our case heard, and to continue the fight for our environmental rights in court. Toxic environmental pollution impacts our health, and we have some of the worst racial health disparities in Minneapolis. It’s imperative for our future and our children’s future that we stop the City’s project and have our day in court.

Check out this interactive map to see how YOU or your neighborhood parks, schools, and businesses might be affected.
  • Click the icon on the top left of the map to read descriptions of any item you click on the map.
  • Click the icon on the top right of the map to see the map full screen.

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What Can You Do?

  • Contact Communications Coordinator Christina Dovolis to learn more at
  • Donate to our court fund.
  • Follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
  • Post on social media to raise awareness! Tag your local officials and tag #EPNIUrbanFarm .
  • Contact your Council Member and Mayor Frey, and ask them to sell the Roof Depot to the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute.
  • Sign up for our email list.
  • Check out our website!
  • Come on out to our events!
  • Sign our petition supporting the East Phillips Urban Farm at
  • Print and send postcards to Minneapolis City Council:  click here.
  • Contact EPNI to support and work with your community groups at Community allies are so important!

Our Supporters

The East Phillips Indoor Urban Farm Project is unanimously supported by the EPIC Board of Directors, the EPIC membership at numerous membership meetings and unanimously at two large community meetings (250+ attendees). The project is also supported by the Sierra Club, the Green Team, the Seward Co-op, over 400 individual signers on support petitions and many other organizations & individuals throughout the city. The project also meets every goal of the South Side Green Zone and is in the South Minneapolis Opportunity Zone.