10/28/2019 12:52:58 PM
[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz today issued the following statement after his Administration’s Department of Health and Department of Labor and Industry took action to cease operations related to the industrial production of lead products at Water Gremlin, a company in White Bear Township that has caused lead poisoning in children:
“As governor, the most important part of my job is protecting the health of Minnesotans. We have evidence that unsafe conditions at Water Gremlin’s facility resulted in workers unknowingly bringing home lead dust—causing lead poisoning in their children.”
“This is heartbreaking. It is unacceptable. And it is not the first time Water Gremlin has jeopardized the health of Minnesotans.”
“That is why we took action today requiring Water Gremlin to immediately halt operations. We will continue to do everything in our power to protect children from this serious public health threat and prevent any further wrongdoing by this company in Minnesota.”
Water Gremlin has previously prompted action by state agencies due to health concerns. Earlier this year, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency ordered Water Gremlin to shut down a part of the plant that was releasing TCE, a chemical known to cause cancer. That order remained in effect Monday.
Governor Walz has been monitoring concerns about the company closely and met with a group of community members earlier this month. He has also voiced his support for legislation to phase out the use of TCE in Minnesota.