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Lawsuit Filed Against MPCA Over Water Gremlin Pollution Investigation

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) --  The Minnesota Attorney General's Office was served with a lawsuit Tuesday morning.

The attorney representing people who live or lived near Water Gremlin in White Bear Township is suing the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

READ MORE: Water Gremlin To Voluntarily Cease Use Of DCE

Water Gremlin and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency settled earlier this year. The manufacturing company in White Bear Township admitted it released elevated levels of a chemical into the air for more than 15 years. TCE may increase the risk of cancer and birth defects.

Now an attorney representing families in the area has taken action. The attorney representing people who live or lived near Water Gremlin is suing the MPCA. The agency monitors companies using toxic chemicals.

WEB EXTRA: Click here to read the full lawsuit. (.PDF)

Attorney Dean Salita hired former Attorney General Lori Swanson. Their lawsuit alleges the MPCA has not turned over public records about the company, saying the agency has not provided information in "an appropriate and prompt manner."

"We have reason to believe that the MPCA rather than being a watchdog for the public, has been a lap dog for the company," Salita said.

The documents detail the dangers associated with the chemical released and the health concerns from the more than 100 people they represent. The lawsuit claims the agency has not provided information after repeated requests.

"I'm very concerned that these documents will add to concerns that the chemicals used by Water Gremlin are a dangerous health hazard to the health and wellness of White Bear Township residents."

Just last week MPCA announced lead, TCE, and a new chemical used, DCE were also found on Water Gremlin's property.

About a dozen protesters held signs and walked in front of Water Gremlin Friday. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency asked the company to partially shut down the plant until pollution problems are fixed.

Water Gremlin avoided Thursday's deadline by asking for a meeting with the MPCA commissioner. That meeting happened Monday.

Water Gremlin paid $7 million in fines and corrective action.

MPCA officials gave this statement to WCCO-TV Tuesday evening:

We are reviewing Water Gremlin's new request to temporarily halt operations.

MPCA asked the company to address the current contamination and prevent further.

Water Gremlin needs to meet both requirements.


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