PFAS in landfills

There are currently 110 closed landfills in the MPCA closed landfill program.

  • PFAS has been tested for at 101 of these landfills.
  • At 98 landfills PFAS was detected.
  • At 59 landfills, PFAS detections exceeded Minnesota Department of Health drinking water guidance values.

MPCA has conducted a study showing that PFAS is present in the contact water at food waste and yard waste composting facilities.

MPCA is working with landfills that use spray irrigation as a method to treat and dispose of their leachate. PFAS is showing up in the groundwater, and we are working with the landfills to address the problem. In the meantime, we are not allowing any solid waste facilities to start new spray irrigation application areas, unless the leachate is sampled for PFAS and the resulting levels are below ¼ of the state’s health based values (set by MDH). The MPCA is also currently working with landfills on potential pre-treatment of leachate to bring PFAS concentrations down to acceptable levels.

Closed landfill sites with PFAS detections

97% of assessed closed landfills have PFAS contamination.

Map of Minnesota. Black dots represent closed landfill sites. White dots indicate sites where PFAS has been detected. Red circles indicate sites where PFAS levels exceed health standards. Few sites show no PFAS.