MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There are new developments surrounding a manufacturing plant that released a cancer-causing chemical into the air for years.
We now know chemicals were found on Water Gremlin‘s property in White Bear Township. Experts found the toxic chemical TCE in shallow ground water and in vapors below the plant. Before, we only knew it had been released into the air.
WCCO-TV has learned lead was also found, along with a new chemical being used — DCE — in the soil, groundwater, surface water, vapors and sediment.
WCCO-TV has been following neighborhood health concerns for months. More than 100 people have hired an attorney, concerned the chemical released caused their cancer. So far, there has been no definitive tie.
Water Gremlin settled with the state earlier this year, and paid $7 million in fines and corrective action. As part of the settlement, the company had to do a remediation assessment.
Thursday, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency plans to release details of the TCE and lead contamination found, along with the need for more testing and cleanup. And officials will address recent test results that brought “renewed concerns.”
Water Gremlin told WCCO-TV it was not satisfied with the performance of its new pollution control equipment and is looking at other options. WCCO-TV will be at the media briefing Thursday morning and will have the latest on the pollution investigation into Water Gremlin.
Here is Water Gremlin’s statement on its new pollution control equipment:
Our new pollution control system was recently tested, and we were not satisfied with its performance. To ensure our compliance with regulated limits, we have been developing an alternative option that is focused on pollution prevention. After conversing with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), we have decided to resubmit our permit application using this approach.
The approach that we are pursuing involves replacing a coating currently used in our process with a water-based wood rosin emulsion. This will be a more effective way to ensure that we are following the MPCA’s guidelines and staying below the federal emission standards at our facility, and is the most environmentally responsible way to continue our operations.
We will continue to collaborate with the MPCA as this process evolves, including the ongoing air emissions monitoring already in place. We will also continue to share relevant updates along the way.