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Open AccessArticle

Cumulative Risk Assessment and Environmental Equity in Air Permitting: Interpretation, Methods, Community Participation and Implementation of a Unique Statute

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 520 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155, USA
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(11), 4140-4159; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph8114140
Received: 19 September 2011 / Revised: 27 October 2011 / Accepted: 28 October 2011 / Published: 4 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cumulative Health Risk Assessment)
In 2008, the statute authorizing the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to issue air permits was amended to include a unique requirement to analyze and consider “cumulative levels and effects of past and current environmental pollution from all sources on the environment and residents of the geographic area within which the facility's emissions are likely to be deposited. Data describing the Statute Area suggest it is challenged by environmental and socioeconomic concerns, i.e., concerns which are often described by the phrase ‘environmental equity’. With input from diverse stakeholders, the MPCA developed a methodology for implementing a cumulative levels and effects analysis when issuing air permits in the designated geographic area. A Process Document was created defining explicit steps a project proposer must complete in the analysis. An accompanying Reference Document compiles all available environmental health data relevant to the Statute Area that could be identified. The final cumulative levels and effects methodology is organized by health endpoint and identifies hazard, exposure and health indices that require further evaluation. The resulting assessment is summarized and presented to decision makers for consideration in the regulatory permitting process. We present a description of the methodology followed by a case study summary of the first air permit processed through the “cumulative levels and effects analysis”. View Full-Text
Keywords: cumulative risk assessment; extant data; multiple stressors; environmental equity; air permit; hazard indicators; exposure indicators; health indicators cumulative risk assessment; extant data; multiple stressors; environmental equity; air permit; hazard indicators; exposure indicators; health indicators
MDPI and ACS Style

Ellickson, K.M.; Sevcik, S.M.; Burman, S.; Pak, S.; Kohlasch, F.; Pratt, G.C. Cumulative Risk Assessment and Environmental Equity in Air Permitting: Interpretation, Methods, Community Participation and Implementation of a Unique Statute. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 4140-4159.

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