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Landfills are leaking PFAS 'forever chemicals' in 41 Minnesota counties

Magnitude of the PFAS, groundwater problem is unknown, the state said.
By Jennifer Bjorhus Star Tribune MARCH 18, 2021 — 3:17PM


Groundwater at the old Gofer Landfill in Martin County near the Iowa border contains PFAS levels more than 1,000 times the state drinking water safety standard. No nearby drinking water wells have been contaminated, the MPCA said.

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."

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