Water Gremlin air monitoring

Map showing locations of (5) air monitors around the Water Gremlin property in White Bear Township.This page describes air monitoring conducted around Water Gremlin since March 1, 2019. This is different from the computer modeling that was done to estimate the past TCE release from the facility. For more information about the difference between monitoring and modeling, see Air pollution monitoring and modeling.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Water Gremlin was allowed to restart production on March 1. Instead of TCE, they are using an alternative product called FluoSolv WS. FluoSolv uses DCE (trans 1,2-Dichloroethylene) as the main ingredient. The settlement agreement limits the amount of DCE that can be used until new pollution control equipment is installed this spring.

The air monitoring is being done by Pace Analytical, an independent environmental consultant. and includes a suite of volatile organic compounds (see list).

Site air monitoring

The data tools below provide air quality data collected by monitors around the Water Gremlin facility. There have been no detections of TCE from the five air monitors since April 18.

  • The "air monitoring results" chart shows Dichloroethylene (DCE) monitoring results, showing a decrease in DCE concentrations since March 1, 2019. DCE is the primary compound used in FluoSolv, the alternative solvent the facility has been using under the settlement agreement.
  • The "FluoSolv use" chart shows the facility’s daily FluoSolv use. Usage is trending downward.
  • The "emissions compliance graph" shows the cumulative emissions of volatile organic compounds (blue line), including DCE, and compares it to the annual limit of Total VOCs allowed from the facility (green line). Water Gremlin is prohibited from emitting more than 90 tons of Total VOCs over the course of a rolling one-year period.

Water Gremlin is required to sample air at five locations near the edge of their property for a number of volatile organic compounds, including DCE and TCE. Air samples are collected for 24 hours every three days. This work is being done by Pace Analytical, an independent environmental consultant.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) develops guidance to evaluate potential health risks from exposures to chemicals in air. For Water Gremlin, MDH provided a long-term air guidance level of 70 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) of DCE, as an amount that poses little to no risk to health if breathed over a lifetime. The MPCA uses this guidance to create emission limits that are protective of human health and the environment.

DCE: Air monitoring results

FluoSolv use

Emissions compliance

Monitored compounds

Although DCE is the pollutant of primary interest, the following volatile organic compounds (VOC) are also included in the monitoring. For more information on these contact the MPCA: 651-757-2998 or water.gremlin.mpca@state.mn.us

1,1-Dichloroethane
1,1-Dichloroethylene
1,1,2-Trichloroethane
1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane
1,2-Dichlorobenzene
1,2-Dichloropropane
1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene
1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene
1,3-Butadiene
1,3-Dichlorobenzene
1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene
1,4-Dichlorobenzene
2-Proponol
Acetone
Benzene
Benzyl Chloride
Bromodichloromethane
Bromoform
Bromomethane
Carbon Disulfide
Carbon Tetrachloride
Chlorobenzene
Chloroethane
Chloroform
Chloromethane
Cis-1,2-Dichloroethene
Cyclohexane
Dibromochloromethane
Dichlorodifluoromethane
Dichloromethane
Ethyl Acetate
Ethylbenzene
Ethylene Dibromide
Ethylene Dichloride
Freon 113
Freon 114
Furan, Tetrahydro-Hexachlorobutadiene
Methyl Butyl Ketone
Methyl Chloroform
Methyl Ethyl Ketone
Methyl isobutyl ketone
Methyl Tert-Butyl Ether
N-Heptane
N-Hexane
O-Xylene
Propylene
Styrene
Tetrachloroethylene
Toluene
Trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene (DCE)
Trans-1,3-Dichloropropene
Trichloroethylene
Trichlorofluoromethane
Vinyl Acetate
Vinyl Chloride