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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Peter Fischer (DFL)

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Legislative Update - April 25, 2019

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Dear neighbors,

Last week I had the opportunity to connect with community members in the district during the Legislature’s annual spring recess. Many thanks to everyone who joined me for my town hall on Tuesday! I had some great conversations with community members. If you weren’t able to attend, please feel free to give me a call at 651-296-5363 or send an email to rep.peter.fischer@house.mn.

I also met with several local business owners. They were appreciative of the bipartisan efforts that went into saving our local rail line and 500 well-paying jobs. Two of the companies were able to expand recently. One just finished a $20 million expansion that will create 100 jobs, and the other has added 25 high-quality jobs with excellent benefits. It’s great to see these businesses growing because our community thrives when local businesses are successful!

Now that we’ve returned from recess, my House colleagues and I have begun discussing budget legislation on the floor. On Tuesday, we approved the E-12 education budget! Please stay tuned for more updates on our progress throughout the final weeks of the session.

Supporting Minnesota Schools and Students

For years, Minnesotans have told legislators that education funding isn’t adequate. This has resulted in teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, and bond referendums and operating levies that push costs onto local taxpayers. Our E-12 education budget would increase the state’s commitment to schools by three percent in the first year and another two percent in the second year. It increases per-pupil funding for every student in every school across the state and supports each learner inside and outside the classroom.

A fact sheet on the E-12 education budget is available here.

Water Gremlin Updates

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) recently released the results of testing and monitoring around the Water Gremlin site and announced that they will hold three public availability sessions in early May. Staff from the MPCA and the Minnesota Department of Health will be available to talk one-on-one with residents.

When: Wednesday, May 1 and Tuesday, May 7 from 6 – 8pm
Where: Birch Lake Elementary School, 1616 Birch Lake Avenue, White Bear Lake, MN 55110

When: Thursday, May 9 from 11am – 2pm
Where: Gem Lake City Office, 4200 Otter Lake Road, Gem Lake, MN 55110

On March 1, air monitoring began at five locations surrounding the Water Gremlin plant. An independent environmental consultant collects samples every three days and reports the data directly to the MPCA. In early March, TCE was detected twice. The MPCA has verified that the facility is no longer using TCE and believes these results were due to residue in the equipment. No measurable levels of TCE have been detected since.

Air monitoring is conducted every three days at these five locations near the Water Gremlin plant.

Water Gremlin has replaced TCE with a product called FluoSolv WS. The company is required to report their daily usage of dichloroethylene (DCE), the main ingredient in this project, and has significantly decreased that use.

Samples taken from private wells gave no indication that drinking water sources have been contaminated. Assessments of the groundwater and soil near the Water Gremlin site will start in May.

The results of the testing and monitoring are available here and will be updated every three days. If you have questions or concerns, you can contact the MPCA at 651-757-2998 or water.gremlin.mpca@state.mn.us or the MDH at 651-201-4897 or health.hazard@state.mn.us.

Please stay in touch during the remaining weeks of session. 

Sincerely,

Peter Fischer
State Representative

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