Monumental Problems Require Real Change.

Another area citizen shared with NCCG her thoughts on the most recent Water Gremlin problems. Read this and hear not only her voice, but the voice of hundreds of other citizens who are asking the same questions.
I feel compelled to share my thoughts on Water Gremlin as I am beyond frustrated with this “neighbor”. Water Gremlin is located less than 1-1/2 miles away from where I have lived for the past 26 years. I am a White Bear Lake resident, I have raised two children and I am a breast cancer survivor, after diagnosis in 2015.

There are legislators, people working at state agencies and others who have been very supportive. They have been trying to hold Water Gremlin accountable and they have been trying to improve the system. I am very grateful and encouraged by this, but there continues to be monumental problems.

Children are still being poisoned with lead because Water Gremlin can’t figure out how to clean their employees’ cars. And, the newest Administrative Order makes it clear that Water Gremlin has been lying to the MPCA for 9 years about hazardous waste, including lead and TCE and/or tDCE spilling into the groundwater, and many other continuing problems. 

I believe in the concept of the importance of people over profits, but this is not the current reality.

I want to know why Water Gremlin, a business that has continued to lie to the MPCA for 9-17 years and poison our air with TCE, poison our ground with TCE and tDCE, poison our children with lead and poison our groundwaters with lead and TCE and/or tDCE is able to stay in business.

I want to know why they continue to get opportunities to make things “right” when our land, water and children will never be able to be “right” again due to Water Gremlin’s sloppy, careless, and uncaring business practices which obviously prioritizes earning money over the health and welfare of people and the environment.

I want to know when will Water Gremlin’s ongoing egregious behavior, which stretches credulity to rational people when they define their actions as innocent mistakes, will require a response that is more permanent than a large fine to a multi-billion dollar company; when we know it likely won’t impact their bottom line, nor serve as a future deterrent? 

I have some ideas I believe could improve this situation:

  1. Use authority to shut down Water Gremlin permanently so they can stop causing harm to people and the environment.
  2. Create, support and pass legislation giving state agencies the ability to shut down businesses harming people and/or the environment sooner and more definitively. 
  3. Create a way for communities to know when their environment is being impacted by a business immediately. 
  4. Create a group comprised of community members that can have oversight and input in agencies such as MPCA, OSHA and Department of Health. 
  5. Create a path for agencies that can have overlapping interests, such as MPCA, OSHA and the Department of Health, to easily communicate, so that information can be shared.

I don’t believe we should have to wonder if business interests take precedence over people; actions and reactions make it obvious that our current system of oversight and legislation has been created to encourage and support business interests being prioritized over people. I’d like that reality to change so that people’s health and well-being and our environment is prioritized over corporate greed and profits.
Thank you for sharing your worries and your ideas! If you’d like to submit your own thoughts, just email us!