Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a dangerous industrial chemical that has serious health effects. TCE is a known carcinogen and development toxin. Long term exposure damages the kidneys, liver, and immune system.
TCE is a threat to communities when it is spilled or released into water or soil. All over Minnesota, communities have been forced to deal with drinking water that has been contaminated with TCE. Contaminated groundwater also creates toxic soil vapors that seep into homes and buildings.
TCE can also be released into the air. In 2019, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) determined that a company in White Bear Lake Township had been releasing TCE at dangerous levels for 17 years. In January 2020, the MPCA found that other industrial facilities were also emitting unsafe levels of TCE into the air.
In 2019, bills banning the use of TCE in Minnesota were passed by both the House and Senate, but a conference committee failed to pass a final bill. In the 2020 session, HF 3376 was introduced to phase out TCE and require the use of safe alternatives.