Taking action on TCE

TCE by the numbers. 2 micrograms per cubic meter of TCE is the Health Based Value set by MDH. 88 facilities have been assessed. 27 use TCE in industrial processes. 61 generate TCE as a byproduct. 174,150 pounds of TCE emissions removed from facilities.

After Water Gremlin's air permit violations were revealed, the Minnesota Legislature considered banning TCE altogether in Minnesota, in its 2019 session. The measure had bipartisan support but ultimately didn't pass. Instead the Legislature approved $786,000 for research on TCE use in the state, its health effects, and ways to reduce its use. An MPCA update details how the agency is using the money:

The update includes a list of the 86 facilities assessed by MPCA that either use or generate TCE in their processes. The MPCA will work with these companies to identify ways to reduce TCE use and emissions.

Information for an additional 24 facilities that are currently being assessed will be included in future updates.

What businesses can do

The Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) is a University of Minnesota outreach program that helps Minnesota businesses prevent pollution, use resources efficiently, and reduce energy use. The MnTAP TCE alternatives page offers information on what chemicals can be used instead of TCE, and their advantages and drawbacks. The page includes recordings of training sessions MnTAP has offered on TCE alternatives, in conjunction with the Toxics Use Reduction Institute of the University of Massachusetts.

Contact MnTAP for more information and to get assistance for your company at mntap@umn.edu, 612-624-1300, 800-247-0015.