Water Gremlin released this statement Aug. 1 after testing its equipment: “Our new pollution control system was recently tested, and we were not satisfied with its performance. To ensure our compliance with regulated limits, we have been developing an alternative option that is focused on pollution prevention. After conversing with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), we have decided to resubmit our permit application using this approach.

The approach that we are pursuing involves replacing a solvent currently used in our coating process with a water-based alternative. This will be a more effective way to ensure that we are following the MPCA’s guidelines and staying below the federal emission standards at our facility, and is the most environmentally responsible way to continue our operations.

We will continue to collaborate with the MPCA as this process evolves, including the ongoing air emissions monitoring already in place. We will also continue to share relevant updates along the way.”

According to spokesman Chris Duffy, a water-based alternative solvent enables the company to decrease its usage of DCE and stay within emissions standards. “This new approach is in response to the new pollution control equipment not meeting Water Gremlin’s satisfaction,” he said. “The company is optimistic that these new processes will result in lower emissions and long-term compliance.”

(1) comment

Catherine Sullivan

It indeed would be great news if Water Gremlin did move to using only water-based solvents instead of DCE, a chemical included in the type of FluoSolv they chose to use that has been designated by the EPA as a "probable human carcinogen" (source https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=591&tid=110). Contrary to what this press release implies, they are continuing to use DCE, as evidenced by their most recent statement: "Unfortunately, a less than perfect choice of wording used in the email blast has created some confusion. Rather than replacing a solvent, we are replacing one of the coatings that we use with a water-based wood rosin emulsion. This coating is reduced with water so the result is a zero VOC coating process. The other coatings will continue to use FluoSolv but the wood rosin substitution will significantly reduce our overall VOC emissions.The information has been updated on our microsite (WGUpdates.com).". As Water Gremlin neighbors, we feel that this move to water based coating is a step in the right direction. However, if Water Gremlin was truly concerned about the health of surrounding residents, it would stop using DCE altogether and instead use alternative products that have been demonstrated to be safe for all their manufacturing processes.

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