Questions about how well we care for our environment have heated up political debates for the past 30 years, infiltrating our national consciousness with inquiries into who is responsible, at what cost, and on what projects. The Port Authority and its state and local partners haven’t waited for a mandate from Washington to encourage sustainable development. We began more than a quarter century ago to clean up Saint Paul’s polluted soil and redevelop it, neighborhood by neighborhood, into burgeoning businesses centers. Working closely with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and or other partners, we have turned 21 polluted and often abandoned inner-city sites into environmentally friendly business centers.
Our past five business centers – Great Northern North and South on Saint Paul’s North End, and Westminster Junction, Williams Hill and Beacon Bluff on the East Side – are state-of-the-art fulcrums, balancing the needs of the Earth with the needs of Saint Paul neighborhoods.
Through our Trillion BTU Energy Efficiency and Green Design Investment programs, we are the intersection between the value of green design and environmental sustainability and the nuts and bolts cost of running a successful business.
In 2010 we went further than we ever have in protecting our environment by installing a state-of-the-art stormwater treatment system at Beacon Bluff. The system will eliminate 90 percent of the runoff sediment from 163 acres of Saint Paul’s East Side that now flows untreated into the Mississippi River. Our partners in this effort are the University of Minnesota, City of Saint Paul, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and Capital Region Watershed District.