The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources have released a list of funded expedited projects through the 3M PFC settlement.

The eight projects on the list, totaling about $16.8 million, address drinking water issues related to PFAS that have time-sensitive elements. The money comes from the more than $700 million the state received in a 2018 settlement with 3M Corp. over the dumping of PFAS chemicals in Cottage Grove, Oakdale, Woodbury and the former Washington County Landfill in Lake Elmo.

Applications for expedited projects were accepted through May 25, 2019, and were open to anyone, from individuals and for-profit businesses to nonprofits and local municipalities.

The list includes two projects in Cottage Grove to connect 159 homes to the city's municipal drinking water system, totaling over $9 million. Woodbury also received $96,000 to conduct a study of the city's drinking water system as it relates to PFAS.

All of the grant agreements have been signed and executed, according to a March 13 news release from the MPCA and DNR.

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Complete list of funded projects

City of Cottage Grove

The city will extend the water main in the River Acres neighborhood to connect 123 homes to the city’s municipal drinking water supply system. Funded amount: $7,076,847

The city will connect 36 homes in the Granada Avenue neighborhood to the city’s municipal drinking water supply system. Funded amount: $2,006,159

City of Woodbury

The city will conduct a feasibility study to better understand the city’s existing water supply distribution as it relates to PFAS contamination. Funded amount: $96,069

Washington County

The county will administer and oversee a program to seal PFAS-impacted wells located in the East Metropolitan Area. Funded amount: $150,000

City of Lake Elmo

The city will extend a municipal water supply system to 65 homes located in the Stonegate first and second addition neighborhoods. Funded amount: $4,248,300

The city will extend a municipal water supply system to six homes located just east of 31st Street and south of Stillwater Boulevard. Funded amount: $449,100

The city will extend a municipal water supply system to 41 homes located in the Hamlet on Sunfish Lake neighborhood. Funded amount: $2,712,200

City of Oakdale

The city will conduct a feasibility study to evaluate treatment locations for its four city wells that received well advisories. The study will determine if there is sufficient space for a temporary or permanent treatment facility at the well location or at a centralized location. Funded amount: $20,000

Background

The state of Minnesota and 3M Corp. settled an $850 million lawsuit in February 2018, saying PFAS dumped by 3M for decades at disposal sites — in Cottage Grove, Oakdale, Woodbury and the former Washington County Landfill in Lake Elmo — then contaminated nearby groundwater and drinking water wells. After legal fees, about $720 million was made available to the east metro for long-term solutions in two areas: clean and sustainable drinking water, and the restoration and enhancement of natural resources. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources are co-trustees of the money.

PFAS, sometimes referred to as PFCs, is a group of chemicals used in products like stain repellents, non-stick coatings and firefighting foam beginning in the 1950s that have since been largely phased out in the United States. Referred to as a "forever chemical," PFAS can persist in the environment for a long time and can build up slowly in the bodies of continuously-exposed people. Most studies have shown adverse health effects in lab animals, including changes in liver, thyroid, and pancreatic function, and some changes in hormone levels. More research is needed to determine the effect of chronic exposure in humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.