Water Gremlin to pay $500 fine per day in addition to $7 million settlement

Sarah Kilgriff, an enforcement manager at the MPCA
Sarah Kilgriff, an enforcement manager at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, discusses the settlement with Water Gremlin at a news conference in St. Paul in March 2019.
Matt Sepic | MPR News file

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced on Friday it has denied an extension for a White Bear Lake Township company to test its pollution control equipment.

The company, Water Gremlin, is now subject to a $500 fine per day until the testing is completed. Water Gremlin makes fishing sinkers and battery terminals.

The state agency fined the company $4.5 million earlier this year for releasing too much trichloroethylene, or TCE. The solvent is used as a cleaner and degreaser in metal manufacturing.

The MPCA says the plant released an excess amount of the chemical into the air and failed to report accurate emission data for more than 15 years.

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The settlement with the state agency in March also required Water Gremlin to shell out another $1 million for air monitoring at its site and an additional $1.5 million for environmental projects, including planting 1,500 trees.

MPCA spokesperson Darin Broton said the state agency already granted Water Gremlin extensions to meet requirements.

"There are long-term health consquences on some of these chemicals so that's why it is extremely important companies have very rigorous pollution control equipment and that equipment is working."

The emissions don't extend farther than about a mile from the facility, according to the MPCA.

Water Gremlin has not yet responded to a request for comment.

MPR News reporter Matt Sepic contributed to this story.