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.
Mayor Jacob Frey and the Minneapolis City Council plan to expand the City’s Public Works Yard to the Roof Depot site in the East Phillips neighborhood, risking community exposure to arsenic contamination located on the site and adding more air pollution into the East Phillips neighborhood from facility operations and increased traffic.
In a June 2020 presentation, the City acknowledged to its Community Environmental Advisory Commission (CEAC) that achieving the City’s goal to reduce overall citywide carbon emissions will come at the human cost of increased air pollution in the East Phillips neighborhood.
The City also refuses to conduct a “cumulative impact analysis”, despite being required to do so by state Environmental Justice legislation (Minn. Stat. § 116.07, subd. 4a) and East Phillips’ neighborhood being located in one of the City’s two Green Zones . A cumulative impact analysis is a type of environmental review that leads to stricter pollution limits and considers, among other factors, the population’s pre-existing racial and economic health disparities and other environmental burdens. Cumulative impact analyses are especially important for neighborhoods like East Phillips that have historically experienced higher levels of pollution than the rest of Minneapolis and whose residents are more vulnerable due to socio-economic factors. These disparities have been mapped by the MN Department of Health and the MN Pollution Control Agency since 2008 and reported again most recently in the publicly funded “Health Impact Assessment” released to the South Side Green Zone in October, 2019.
Rather than build a public works maintenance yard that will introduce more toxic pollution into the neighborhood, EPNI wants to transform the Roof Depot site into a space that houses an indoor urban farm, affordable low-income housing, local businesses, and opportunities for green jobs.
Two of the City’s own advisory groups (Community Environmental Advisory Commission and Southside Green Zone Council) have recommended that the City allow East Phillips to acquire the Roof Depot site , but the City has ignored their advice and refuses to have good faith discussions with the community about alternatives.
What can you do?
Please consider donating to EPNI to help us pay for legal expenses to protect our community from more pollution.
You can also help our cause by signing our petition and emailing Mayor Jacob Frey and the Minneapolis City Council in support of the East Phillips community. And please help us by spreading the word.