University, Pollution control officials discuss Cedar-Riverside steam plant

The Minneapolis Pollution Control Agency will vote next week to grant a permit to the University of Minnesota to begin construction on the plant.

Elizabeth Smith

The Minneapolis Pollution Control Agency and the University of Minnesota held a public forum at the Cedars Pavilion in Cedar-Riverside Thursday to discuss a proposed power plant in the area. The plant would would help heat the buildings on the University’s of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus. 
 
The current plant, which was built in the 1940’s and was renovated in 2000, is outdated, said assistant vice president of University Health and Safety Ken Kerns.  
 
The University’s plans to renovate an existing University utility building on Main Street Southeast. Kern said the new plant, which would be a combined heat and power plant, would be more efficient and help decrease the U’s carbon footprint. 
 
Ward 3 Council member Cam Gordon praised the University’s efforts to reduce air emissions. 
 
The MPCA Citizens’ Board will rule next week on whether to grant the University of Minnesota an air emissions permit to begin construction on the plant. In order to acquire that permit, the proposed plant cannot emit more air pollutants than the MPCA allows or make significant negative environmental impacts.