By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Pollution officials want a better picture of the air toxics in Minnesota. Right now, companies with air permits voluntarily report them every three years, but not everyone is reporting.

And in the last two years, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency found at least two companies, Water Gremlin and Northern Metal, had reported inaccurate emission information. WCCO has reported extensively on Water Gremlin in White Bear Township. The manufacturing plant released unsafe and elevated levels of a toxic chemical known to cause cancer and birth defects for more than 15 years.

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The state is asking for community input on making changes to air toxic reporting and said it’s in part to prevent another Water Gremlin. The MPCA is considering making it mandatory for companies to report what they release into the air, and looking at how often companies would be required to report.

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“This would provide that fuller picture so that we can get that idea of what’s in the air, what we need to remove, and especially as we look at racial injustices and environmental justice in our state, we want to ensure that we’re protecting those populations as well,” MPCA Commissioner Laura Bishop said.

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Public comment by phone or email on this beginning step goes through August 7. Click here for more information.

Jennifer Mayerle