Shut Down Water Gremlin.
For those who don’t know, yesterday (Aug 15), Water Gremlin refused to shut down their operations involving DCE, as requested by the MPCA. They told the MPCA “NO”. And, then they requested that MPCA Commissioner, Laura Bishop, come to White Bear.
…Finally, it appears that your letter is based on assumptions that are quite different from the conclusions our technical advisors see from the Remediation Report data. As such, we are requesting an immediate meeting with you and other appropriate MPCA personnel in order to understand these stark differences before any misinformation is released and before we commit to any course of action.Junya Inoue, President, Water Gremlin. 8/15/19 letter to Commissioner Laura Bishop.
Hmmm. Let me get this straight.
A company…who has a long, very well documented history of making ‘mistakes’, regardless of the technical advisors they have on staff, is requesting an immediate meeting with the Commissioner of the MPCA to talk about “assumptions” vs. “conclusions” and to understand “stark differences” that could result in “misinformation”??
Ok. Seems like we should give Water Gremlin the benefit of the doubt, right? No. This is not the first time that there have been ‘stark differences’ and ‘misinformation’. All we have to do is go look at the record. Because we certainly don’t want to make assumptions vs conclusions.
That’s right. THERE IS A RECORD of past activities. It’s big. The record shows Water Gremlin is a company who has a history of making numerous “mistakes”. Over and over and over again. It almost feels like they see themselves as bigger than any regulatory agency.
It’s startling to look at that record and conclude that what is happening today is very similar to what the record shows happened in fall of 2018, 2004, in 2001; and, potentially even before then.
The record shows numerous examples of Water Gremlin failing tests, and reporting faulty equipment. As one example: “Water Gremlin requested a 120-day extension to the test date, extending the date deadline to March 19, 2001. Water Gremlin failed to conduct a performance test on the emission control system by March 19, 2001.” (2001 Schedule of Compliance)
The record shows repeated requests for information by the MPCA that are not fulfilled by Water Gremlin. Or, if they are fulfilled, it was often misinformation as they were incomplete or inaccurate. (Stipulation Agreement, March 1, 2019).
The record concludes that years of chemical and lead waste, found on the property. (Remediation Plan.)
The record shows Water Gremlin was issued a Duty of Candor violation for ramping up their production and their emissions, when they told the MPCA in the summer of 2018 they would slow down emissions due to non-working pollution control equipment. (Stipulation Agreement, March 1, 2019).
And, the record shows it was confirmed in January of this year that Water Gremlin polluted the surrounding residential neighborhood for 17+ years with excessive levels of TCE, a known cancer-causing chemical. (Among other diseases that are attributed to TCE.)
For specific details, they were allowed to release 10 tons per year of TCE into the air. Over 17 years, that would be 170 tons. THEY RELEASED 910 tons of TCE into the air over that timeframe. Now, that’s a stark difference. And it’s conclusive. (Stipulation Agreement, March 1).
Enough is enough.
The MPCA says that Water Gremlin needs to shut down. Water Gremlin needs to comply. And, they need to stay shut down until the MPCA says that they are confident in the ability of Water Gremlin to operate without harming the residents, the workers and the environment; both in the short term and, in the long term.