Minnesota 3M PFAS/PFC Settlement

On Feb. 20, 2018, the state of Minnesota settled its lawsuit against the 3M Company in return for a settlement of $850 million. Minnesota’s attorney general sued 3M in 2010alleging that the company’s production of chemicals known as PFCs had damaged drinking water and natural resources in the southeast Twin Cities metro area. After legal and other expenses are paid, about $720 million will be invested in drinking water and natural resource projects in the Twin Cities east metropolitan region.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are co-trustees of these funds.

The settlement agreement has two priorities:

1.    Ensure safe drinking wastes

2.    Enhance natural resources

Find information about the settlement.

The state agencies have set up various working groups to focus efforts and determine how to spend settlement funds. County staff are engaged in several of these groups.

·   The Government and 3M Working group will identify and recommend projects to the MPCA and DNR for funding. This group is composed of one representative each from the MPCA, DNR, 3M, Washington County and one representative from each of the following communities: the cities of Afton, Cottage Grove, Lake Elmo, Lakeland, Maplewood, Newport, Oakdale, St. Paul Park, Woodbury, the townships of Denmark, Grey Cloud Island and West Lakeland, and the Prairie Island Indian Community. Washington County Public Health and Environment director Lowell Johnson sits on this group. 

·    The Citizen and Business group includes MPCA, DNR, and about 15 atlarge citizen, business, and nongovernmental representatives who live or are working in the East Metropolitan Area.

·    The Drinking Water Supply subgroup is comprised of technical experts from MPCA,DNR, MDH, 3M, Metropolitan Council, and Washington County. The cities of Afton, Cottage Grove, Lake Elmo, Lakeland, Maplewood, Newport, Oakdale, St. Paul Park, Woodbury, and the townships of Denmark, Grey Cloud Island and West Lakeland will each have one representative on the Subgroup. Stephanie Souter from Washington County participates in this group. 

·    An additional work group for groundwater protection, sustainability, conservation and recharge have not been started yet. 

For questions about the 3M settlement and the county’s participation, email PHE@co.washington.mn.us. You can also visit the state’s 3M settlement webpage for more information.