The MPCA has released Minnesota’s PFAS Blueprint — a strategic, coordinated approach developed by multiple agencies to protect families and communities from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The Blueprint includes 10 priority areas centered on additional research, new health guidance, drinking water and food protections, as well as additional tools for cleanup and prevention.
“Every day, these forever chemicals are produced, used, processed and released into the environment, yet we aren’t fully aware of the toxicity and dangers of PFAS,” said Laura Bishop, commissioner of the MPCA. “Using almost two decades of knowledge and experience in researching and managing PFAS, Minnesota has developed a comprehensive, statewide blueprint to protect communities and families from PFAS contamination.”
The Blueprint also included immediate, short- and long-term strategies that state agencies, the Minnesota Legislature, industries, and local governments should consider to prevent, manage, and clean up PFAS contamination. Over the coming months and years, state agencies will further develop these strategies and engage Minnesotans on how best to implement them. Some PFAS strategies can be developed by using existing authorities and resources. Many other strategies will require legislative action, including the following priorities for the 2021 legislative session:
- Designating PFAS as hazardous substances to enable a faster, more efficient response to releases of PFAS that threaten drinking water, communities and families. Minnesota would join a handful of states making this designation.
- Requiring companies to disclose information on contaminants, including the use of PFAS, in products and processes when monitoring shows unexplained presence of contaminants in the environment.
- Identifying sources of PFAS in the environment through a $700,000 funding request that would provide the MPCA the ability to gather additional and better information to identify potential PFAS sources and prioritize investigations when large amounts of PFAS may have been used, produced, or discarded.
- Evaluating PFAS waste going to landfills, compost facilities, and wastewater treatment plants to expedite state agencies’ understanding of how waste coming into these facilities is affecting PFAS levels in the water that leaves wastewater and solid waste facilities.
- Responding when PFAS are found in closed Minnesota landfills: When unexpected PFAS contamination is found at a closed Minnesota landfill, the MPCA needs access and funding to protect communities and families.
- Protecting Minnesotans from fish contaminated with PFAS through funding for new and ongoing water monitoring to identify the extent of PFAS contamination in Minnesota and to develop safe fish consumption advice.
- Protecting drinking water and agricultural lands by understanding PFAS in wastewater and landfill leachate: The MPCA seeks $1.4 million to better understand the impacts of elevated levels of PFAS in wastewater biosolids, compost contact water, and landfill leachate and to evaluate potential treatment options. More information will ensure Minnesota’s drinking water is safe and farms are productive.
With more than 5,000 structures and over 9,000 identified chemistries, PFAS are present in the environment and will remain so for generations. In Minnesota, the first discovery of PFAS contamination occurred in the early 2000s, when drinking water contamination was found in the East Metropolitan area of the Twin Cities. Since then, PFAS have been detected in water, sediment, soil, and fish all across Minnesota — from Duluth and Brainerd to Lake Bde Maka Ska and Pine Island and places in between.
For more information and to see the full Blueprint, visit MPCA's Minnesota’s PFAS Blueprint webpage.