The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be trustees of an $850 million grant from 3M, the result of the settlement of a lawsuit the State of Minnesota filed in 2010. The lawsuit stemmed from claims of water pollution caused by 3M dumping of waste from perfluorinated chemical (PFC) production near its headquarters and into the Mississippi River between 1950 and the early 2000s. 3M used the chemicals in its Scotchgard product.
In 2007, 3M signed a Consent Order with MPCA under which the company agreed to pay for bottled water and in-home water filtration systems for private well owners whose groundwater had been contaminated by the PFCs. 3M will continue paying these expenses for at least the next five years, and for the remediation and long-term monitoring costs at three other contaminated sites.
The grant funds will cover long-term drinking water solutions for contaminated areas, and will also be used to improve the east metro region’s aquatic resources and wildlife habitat. “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.”