Sen. Chamberlain: an update on Water Gremlin

Friends and neighbors,

As you know, a couple weeks ago I sent letters to several government agencies requesting investigations into the Water Gremlin situation. I wanted to quickly update you about the progress of those requests.

I sent requests to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), the Ramsey County Attorney, the Ramsey County Sheriff, the Legislative Auditor, and Gov. Tim Walz. Here are the responses I have received:

  • The BCA called me and said they have referred the issue to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, who has the authority to investigate. The BCA offered their continued support in the matter, but I have not heard any additional details about a possible EPA investigation.
  • Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles spoke to WCCO about the issue and called me personally. He assured me that an audit of Water Gremlin and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is within their authority and he will do everything he can to get it on their agenda.
  • I have not heard directly from Ramsey County Attorney John Choi or his office. Initially his office said that such an investigation would not be their responsibility, but they appear to have softened on that position and are reviewing the case along with others.
  • I met with MN Pollution Control Agency Commissioner Laura Bishop. She also assured me that the agency is conducting a formal review of their processes. She also advised they have been meeting with the Ramsey County Attorney.
  • Finally, I received a call from Suzanne Sobotka, who works in Tim Walz’s office. She expressed concern about the issue. I agreed. I told her you – the people I represent – are the ones who are most concerned, and we owe it to you to figure out what happened. I hope to meet with the governor soon about this.

In addition, next month I will be participating in a town hall hosted by Conservation Minnesota about the Water Gremlin issue. It will take place on October 26 from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. at the Hanifl Performing Arts Center in White Bear Lake. I will send out a reminder and more information later, but I wanted you to be able to get it on your calendar.

So, that’s the status update. I will continue to work on this until we have a resolution and clear answers about what went wrong and how it will be fixed.

A s always, please don’t hesitate to call or email if you have any questions.