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Smith Foundry president believes pollution concerns will be cleared up after more EPA testing

An inside look at Smith Foundry in Minneapolis' East Phillips neighborhood
An inside look at Smith Foundry in Minneapolis' East Phillips neighborhood 02:07

MINNEAPOLIS — The president of Smith Foundry sat down with WCCO ahead of Monday night's community meeting. He believes questions surrounding the pollution problems will be cleared up after more EPA testing in two weeks.

Only WCCO cameras captured Smith Foundry in operation as it melts, then casts iron in the East Phillips neighborhood.

It's the rate of the particulate pollution being emitted from the work the EPA says violated the Clean Air Act.

MORE: Neighbors near Minneapolis' Smith Foundry wonder why EPA's pollution discovery wasn't made by MPCA

"We are not polluting the environment," Adolfo Quiroga, president of Smith Foundry said.

Current owners purchased the factory last December.

"Before 2022 I cannot speak about it. What I can tell you is we are in compliance with the current permit that we have," Quiroga said.

He admits when they took it over, there were problems with record keeping and some equipment not working properly.

And points to a misinterpretation of their reports. Quiroga says they've made improvements since the EPA's notice of violation.

"We are keeping records now. We have the record of every day. We fix, we are continuing to fix every equipment that go down," Quiroga said.

Quiroga showed us some of the pollution control equipment after operations finished.  

"Every of those collector have a capacity to suck the air, filter it and then to release whatever is not being filtered. And that is the test the EPA is going to do. What is coming and what is leaving the plant," Quiroga said.

Reporter Jennifer Mayerle asked, "So you believe in a couple weeks this will all be cleared up?"

"I do. I hope so and I believe so," Quiroga said.

Smith Foundry is in the process of getting a new, stricter permit. The company says it hopes that will create peace of mind for neighbors.

Meanwhile, the EPA says it stands by its report.

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