Lead & Water Gremlin

PART FIVE: In May of 2019, Water Gremlin launched a site to educate the community on their pollution control fines and what they were doing for the future. This is the fifth in a series of NCCG responses to their Frequently Asked Questions.

From Water Gremlin
Q:  How does Water Gremlin protect its employees and the community from lead exposure?
A:  Our lead emissions are far below the federal reporting threshold set to identify facilities that might cause concern. Our process for creating lead avoids any outdoor air emissions.

As the White Bear area community reads this Q&A regarding lead, there are two counter-points that cause us to continue to question the culture of Water Gremlin and their commitment to human and environmental health.

The first counter-point is that Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) did find that children of Water Gremlin workers were at a higher risk of having more lead in their system.  

… addresses of 3.6% of children with an EBLL (elevated blood lead level) were matched to the address of a known Water Gremlin employee who also was tested for lead and had their place of work reported to the BLIS database. MDH is currently working with St. Paul-Ramsey County Public Health to address exposures to these children from take-home lead from the Water Gremlin facility.  

Source:  MDH Water Gremlin Health Assessment Series

The second counter point is the documented history of lead contamination at Water Gremlin; as outlined in the Work Plan issued May of 2019.

Page 2-7 (sections 2.2.7 and 2.28 ) describe the 1996 removal of 1,026 cubic yards of lead-impacted soil from eight individual areas on site. Approximately 8-cubic yards of polluted soil remained as it could not be removed due to the presence of underground utilities. This area was then covered by a building expansion in 1997. In 1997, the MPCA said they would not request additional investigation of the soil; however that did not apply to groundwater conditions.

It is these counter-points, combined with mis-representation of actual TCE emissions by Water Gremlin that cause the White Bear area community and NCCG to continue to question if:
1) Lead pollution from Water Gremlin is a problem and
2) We can trust Water Gremlin to change their culture.

All referenced FAQs from Water Gremlin are copied and pasted directly from their website as of June 14, 2019. Our responses based on  facts (cited) and our point-of-view (POV) . Our POV is based on an assessment of facts, advice from independent third-party experts and our own experiences.