Contact: Dave Verhasselt, 651-757-2278
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be trustees of an $850 million grant from 3M that settles the lawsuit the State of Minnesota filed against the company back in December of 2010.
“Our primary concern has always been making sure affected east metro residents have clean drinking water, and this settlement makes sure that happens,” said MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine. “We’ll continue to work closely with residents and communities in the east metropolitan area to ensure a clean, safe drinking water supply for generations to come.”
A portion of the 3M grant will be dedicated to improving the east metro’s aquatic resources and wildlife habitat. “We are pleased with the natural resources restoration and protection portion of the settlement and look forward to working with the impacted communities as we determine how best to invest these funds to restore and improve the area’s water resources, fishing and wildlife habitat,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr.
3M had previously signed a Consent Order with the MPCA back in 2007. Under the terms of that agreement, the company agreed to pay for bottled water and in-home water filtration systems for private well owners whose groundwater had been contaminated by chemicals known as PFCs that 3M manufactured. 3M will continue to pay for these expenses for at least the next five years. Long-term drinking water solutions will be paid for with funds from the grant.
3M will also continue to pay for remediation costs at the three sites in Washington County where they disposed of these chemicals and have taken responsibility for long-term monitoring and cleanup. These sites are the 3M Chemolite Plant in Cottage Grove, 3M Oakdale dumpsite, and the 3M Woodbury disposal site.
For the most recent developments, visit the 3M Settlement website.