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Minnesota officers stump for legislative crackdown on ‘eternally chemical compounds’

Minnesota air pollution and well being officers made the case on the State Capitol on Thursday for laws to limit nonessential makes use of of “eternally chemical compounds” often called PFAS, and for the $45.6 million that Gov. Tim Walz has requested in his finances to forestall, handle and clear up the ever present compounds.

State companies launched a drive two years in the past to guard communities from PFAS, which do not break down within the atmosphere however accumulate in human our bodies. They’ve already examined water provides for 98% of the state’s inhabitants, pioneered new clean-up applied sciences and began statewide monitoring.

“PFAS is an pressing public well being and environmental subject going through Minnesota and the nation,” Katrina Kessler, commissioner of the Minnesota Air pollution Management Company, stated at a briefing for reporters.


PFAS, or per- and polyfluorinated substances, are widespread and costly to take away from water. They’ve been linked to a broad vary of well being issues, together with low birthweight and kidney most cancers. The chemical compounds had been used for the reason that 1940s in client merchandise and trade, together with in nonstick pans, meals packaging and firefighting foam. Their use is now largely phased out within the U.S., however some nonetheless stay.

The U.S. Environmental Safety Company final week proposed the primary federal limits on PFAS in consuming water, a transfer the company stated will save hundreds of lives. Kessler stated that affirmed the work Minnesota has already performed, whereas setting new objectives that can want extra assets to realize.

Whereas PFAS are often discovered at low ranges in Minnesota, there are scorching spots throughout the state. They have been present in 42% of Minnesota’s group water programs, not together with non-public wells, stated Dan Huff, assistant commissioner of the Minnesota Division of Well being. Whereas only a few programs are at ranges thought-about in danger, he stated, extra assessments are anticipated to be accomplished later this month.

“Minnesota has grow to be a nationwide chief in defending residents of Minnesota from PFAS,” Huff stated. “Now, whereas we’re pleased with this, sustaining the established order will not be an possibility. Defending Minnesotans from PFAS requires a lot better air pollution prevention. It additionally goes to require further assets that solely our Legislature can present.”


A key merchandise within the governor’s PFAS finances proposal is $25 million to assist the planning and design of consuming water programs for affected communities. However Kirk Koudelka, assistant commissioner of the air pollution management company, stated that is only a “down fee” and that “a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of {dollars}” will likely be wanted later to construct these amenities. He famous that the EPA’s draft requirements are extra restrictive than Minnesota’s present requirements, and stated a few of the state’s public water programs will exceed them.

Woodbury, for instance, will in all probability want over $100 million, whereas Cottage Grove will want round $60 million and Bemidji will want about $25 million, he stated.

Democratic Rep. Jeff Model, of St. Peter, is the lead Home writer of laws supported by the 2 state companies that seeks to eradicate nonessential PFAS from merchandise for kids, cookware, dental floss and hundreds of different client items. He stated he expects it’s going to get added to the principle atmosphere finances invoice this session.

“We have to flip off the tap in our state,” Model stated. “The PFAS prevention package deal will maintain producers accountable for his or her direct impacts locally, and can assist to close off the tap, in order that manner we are able to concentrate on pricey however essential cleanup measures.”

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