Environment

Coal-Tar-Based Driveway Sealants Banned

Coal-tar-based driveway sealants are banned from use within the city. Coal-tar based sealants contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, (PAH) which are known carcinogens. Coal-tar-based sealants are used on driveways and parking lots. As the sealer ages (in 2 to 4 years), it can flake off, and storm water runoff can carry the flakes into storm water ponds. Because of the toxic nature and demonstrated damage to aquatic life, sediment with high levels of PAH in storm water ponds must be disposed of in a hazardous materials landfill. City taxpayers are responsible for the cost of cleanup of any public storm water ponds in the city.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) first raised concerns about PAH. Coal-tar-based sealants are no longer sold by most hardware or home improvement stores, but they are often marketed by door-to-door driveway coating contractors. Since seal coating contractors do not have to be licensed; residents should ask any contractor about their product. The MPCA has a list of contractors that have pledged that they will not apply sealcoats containing coal tar in Minnesota.

Get more information on coal-tar based sealants and a list of contractors who have pledged to use coal-tar free sealants.

Get Radon Test Kits Through Hennepin County

The Environmental Protection Agency says elevated radon levels are likely to be found in one of every three Hennepin County homes - both new and old. The first step toward “clearing the air” in your home is finding out if elevated levels of radon are present and, if so, your current level of exposure. You may purchase short-term test kits for a discount through Hennepin County Public Health Protection. Find more information or order a kit.

Municipal Water Quality Report

The annual water report is now available. This report is for testing that was conducted during the year 2012. If you have any questions, please contact Public Works Director Larry Brown, 952.960.7913, or lbrown@shorewoodpw.com.

Medicine Drop Off Locations

Hennepin County has placed drop off bins for prescription and other unused medications at various locations throughout the county for the free disposal of medicines. Storing unused medicines in the home can be dangerous. Prescription drug abuse among the teen population is on the rise and there has been an increase of accidental poisonings. Disposing of medicines down the drain or in the garbage can cause groundwater contamination. The drop off sites are free and easy to use. Complete instructions and a list of accepted and unaccepted items should be reviewed before using the drop offs.

Current Rebates

The following rebates are currently available to qualifying residents:
Cooling Rebates, Xcel energy, Up to $450 cash back
Heating System Rebates, CenterPoint Energy, Up to $500 cash back
Water Heater Rebates, CenterPoint Energy, Up to $200 cash back
Low Flow Showerheads and faucet aerators, Centerpoint Energy
Gas Fireplace Rebates, CenterPoint Energy, $75 cash back
Recyclebank

Tree Preservation

It is the policy of the City of Shorewood to recognize and preserve existing natural resources of the community. In its effort to maintain the wooded character of the area, the city finds that trees provide numerous benefits including: stabilization of the soil by the prevention of erosion and sedimentation, reduction of storm water runoff, improvement of air quality, reduction of noise pollution, control of urban heat island effect, protection and increase of property values, protection of privacy, energy conservation through natural insulation, providing habitat for birds and other wildlife and conservation and enhancement of the city’s physical and aesthetic environment.

Shorewood established a Tree Preservation Policy that applies to all new construction within the city. The purpose of this policy is to preserve and protect significant trees or stands of trees whose loss due to land disturbances associated with development or construction would negatively affect the character of our community.

Gideon Glen

Gideon Glen, a 5.8-acre parcel with an old-growth remnant of the Big Woods on its west side, was purchased by the city in 2000 with the financial assistance from Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.

The Gideon Glen project is meant to be educational complete with observation areas and informational kiosks. The view west to the woods is intended not to be accessible to insure the preservation of these sensitive areas; however, the wetland restoration will give residents a sense of what the Lake Minnetonka area was like in pre-settlement times once vegetation has had an opportunity to mature. The wetland project came together financially with funds by the City (through a $75,000 grant from the Metropolitan Council), the MCWD, and Hennepin County (through the CR 19 project.)

Should I test my private well for arsenic?

Yes. Arsenic over the recommended safe level has been detected in groundwater in some private wells in Shorewood. Arsenic in water has no taste or odor, so the only way to know if drinking water contains arsenic is to have it tested.

Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP)

Residents of Shorewood can participate in the storm water pollution prevention management process designed to maintain or improve the quality of our natural resources.