Landfills are leaking PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ in 41 Minnesota counties
By Jennifer Bjorhus | Star Tribune | March 18, 2021
Read the full article by Jennifer Bjorhus (Star Tribune)
“Dozens of closed dumps are leaking high levels of the toxic man-made PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ into groundwater around Minnesota, and pollution regulators want more money to determine the full scope of the problem.
Groundwater at one landfill, near the Iowa border, shows PFAS contamination more than 1,000 times Minnesota’s drinking water health standard — worse than levels at the former Washington County landfill near where 3M Co. manufactured the chemicals.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) released the findings at a news conference Thursday, sounding an urgent request for more resources to address it.
The closed dumps it studied are a small fraction of the landfills operating across the state.
‘They are in suburbs, greater Minnesota, regional centers and small rural communities,’ said MPCA Commissioner Laura Bishop. ‘They are next to our homes, our business and our farms.’
Bishop said she has asked the Legislature for authority to tap the state’s Closed Landfill Investment Fund to address the situation, instead of waiting for lawmakers to appropriate it. The fund currently has about $122 million.
‘Minnesota families and communities should not have to wait until the Legislature acts to release the funds,’ Bishop said.
The MPCA said it urgently needs $100,000 to investigate an underground fire that burned for several months at one of the dumps with a high PFAS reading, the closed Louisville Landfill near Shakopee. The fire is out now, but there could be damage to the cap and monitoring equipment, it said.
There is no way to estimate how much it will cost the state to tackle the problem until it examines more landfills, said MPCA Assistant Commissioner Kirk Koudelka…”
This content provided by the PFAS Project.