Minnesota first in the U.S. to ban TCE, solvent linked to cancer

Minnesota is poised to become the first state in the country to ban trichloroethylene, or TCE, an industrial solvent used in manufacturing that has been linked to negative health effects, including cancer.

The Minnesota House passed the ban Wednesday following prior Senate approval. Gov. Walz is expected to sign it into law.

Last year, the Twin Cities east metro company Water Gremlin agreed to pay $7 million in fines and other costs tied after the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency determined the plant had released an excess amount of the chemical into the air.

"Banning the use of TCE will have an immediate and positive effect on improving Minnesota's air quality, will prevent future toxic nightmares such as what happened with Water Gremlin, and will set a leadership precedent for the rest of the US to follow,” said House bill author Rep. Ami Wazlawik, DFL-White Bear Township, where Water Gremlin is based.

The House approved the ban 117 to 17. No one spoke in opposition.

The bill requires companies to stop using TCE by June 2022 with some exceptions.

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