East metro residents to learn more about Water Gremlin pollution

March 07, 2019 05:52 AM

East metro residents can learn more about pollution coming from a fishing equipment manufacturer Thursday.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS first reported the issue last month regarding Water Gremlin in White Bear Lake.

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Water Gremlin will pay major penalty for release of air pollutant, MPA says

Neighbors worried about health after White Bear company halts production due to emissions concerns


The facility was forced to shut down a production line after state regulators found it had been releasing a known carcinogen into the air for years.

Water Gremlin recently agreed to pay $7 million.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency stated it's one of the largest environmental penalties in the state's history.

"Water Gremlin violated those laws and breached the trust by allowing a toxic chemical, TCE, to be released at levels that far exceeded what its permit authorized," MPCA Commissioner Laura Bishop said. "Not only was this a permit violation, it put people's health at risk."

Meanwhile, neighbors still have a lot of questions and concerns about the long-term impact of exposure.

An investigation found people living up to 1.5 miles from the facility could be affected and may be at risk for cancer and other serious health concerns.

The MPCA assured residents they have tested the drinking water and they discovered no problems. Private wells in the area are also being monitored.

However, residents have been advised to share the information with their doctors.

"Do I wish that the Pollution Control Agency had done a better job right away?," one resident said. "Yes. I am very leery of self-reporting. i just don't see that as good enough. I'd like the Pollution Control Agency to be more aggressive in their testing."

Thursday night, the MPCA and the Minnesota Department of Health will hold a public meeting for neighbors. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the North Campus High School auditorium.

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Rebecca Omastiak & Ashley Zilka

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