Sen. Chamberlain asks Gov. Walz, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Sheriff Fletcher to investigate Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Water Gremlin

Minnesota state Senator Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes) today called on more Minnesota authorities to investigate the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and Water Gremlin for potential criminal wrongdoing.

In three separate letters dated August 29, Sen. Chamberlain asked Gov. Tim Walz, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher, and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Superintendent Drew Evans to investigate the MPCA’s management of Water Gremlin’s permitting and violations to determine if any criminal negligence occurred.

On August 28, Sen. Chamberlain asked Ramsey County Attorney John Choi and Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles to investigate the Water Gremlin situation.

“The citizens who lived near Water Gremlin while it was releasing TCE for nearly two decades deserve answers and accountability,” said Sen. Chamberlain. “There are a number of authorities in Minnesota with the power to investigate what went wrong, and they owe it to White Bear residents to figure out what happened. If there was any willful or negligent wrongdoing, we must hold people accountable and make sure it doesn’t happen again. We won’t be stonewalled.”

See below for the full text of the three letters.

August 29, 2019

The Honorable Tim Walz
Minnesota Governor
130 State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, MN 55155

Dear Governor Walz,

I am writing on behalf of my constituents residing and working in the White Bear Township and White Bear Lake area affected by the emissions release by Water Gremlin Company.  As their elected official, it is my responsibility to explore every possible avenue to resolve the issue.  I am sure you are aware of the seriousness of this situation, and as governor, I believe it is your responsibility to direct an investigation so that full facts will be revealed.

Over the past year, as information has been made public, it has become apparent that there may be a break-down in the permitting and environmental testing processes that safeguard the health of our environment and citizens. Additionally, while this information is concerning in and of itself, there are disputes about the accuracy of data and the timeline of when various parties became aware of dangerous contaminants in the air, water, and ground soil surrounding the Water Gremlin facility.

For these reasons, I am asking you to direct the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to refer this matter to the appropriate authority for full fact finding and investigation of Water Gremlin violations, the MPCA and its overall management of Water Gremlin’s permitting, and the timeliness of the MPCA’s subsequent responses. 

Prudence requires we explore all options to come to a prompt and satisfactory conclusion of this case. As the highest elected official within the Minnesota executive branch, you have the power to direct and oversee your commissioners and agencies.

If you need further information to proceed in this matter, please contact me at any time. Thank for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Senator Roger Chamberlain
State Senate District 38

August 29, 2019

Drew Evans
Superintendent
Bureau of Criminal Apprehension
1430 Maryland Ave E
Saint Paul, MN 55106

Dear Superintendent Evans,

I am writing on behalf of my constituents residing and working in the White Bear Township and White Bear Lake area affected by the emissions release by Water Gremlin Company.  As their elected official, it is my responsibility to explore every possible avenue to resolve the issue.

Over the past year, as information has been made public, it has become apparent that there may be a break-down in the permitting and environmental testing processes that safeguard the health of our environment and citizens.  Additionally, the information that is released is concerning in and of itself because there are disputes about the accuracy of data and the timeline of when various parties became aware of dangerous contaminants in the air, water, and ground soil surrounding the Water Gremlin facility.

With this in mind, I am requesting that the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigate responsible individuals at both the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Water Gremlin Company to determine applicability of criminal sanctions under current law, including Minn. Stat. § 115.071, Subd. 2, or Minn. Stat. § 609.671.

Prudence requires we explore all options to come to a prompt and satisfactory conclusion of this case. As such, Minnesotans would be well served by a complete investigation by those who have authority to engage in fact-finding and enforcement of our state’s laws.

Thank you for your time and consideration. If you need any further information to proceed in this matter, please contact me at any time.

Sincerely,

Senator Roger Chamberlain
State Senate District 38

August 29, 2019

Sheriff Bob Fletcher
Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office
425 Grove Street
Saint Paul, MN 55101

Dear Sheriff Fletcher,

I am writing on behalf of my constituents residing and working in the White Bear Township and White Bear Lake area affected by the emissions release by Water Gremlin Company.  As their elected official, it is my responsibility to explore every possible avenue to resolve the issue.

Over the past year, as information has been made public, it has become apparent that there may be a break-down in the permitting and environmental testing processes that safeguard the health of our environment and citizens.  Additionally, the information that is released is concerning in and of itself because there are disputes about the accuracy of data and the timeline of when various parties became aware of dangerous contaminants in the air, water, and ground soil surrounding the Water Gremlin facility.

With this in mind, I am requesting that the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office investigate responsible individuals at both the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Water Gremlin Company to determine applicability of criminal sanctions under current law, including Minn. Stat. § 115.071, Subd. 2, or Minn. Stat. § 609.671.

Prudence requires we explore all options to come to a prompt and satisfactory conclusion of this case. As such, Minnesotans would be well served by a complete investigation by those who have authority to engage in fact-finding and enforcement of our state’s laws.

Thank you for your time and consideration. If you need any further information to proceed in this matter, please contact me at any time.

Sincerely,

Senator Roger Chamberlain
State Senate District 38

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