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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 2010 alleging 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 (MPCA) and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are co-trustees of these funds.

Applications now being accepted for expedited projects funded by 3M Settlement money

The MPCA and DNR are making about $25 million from the 2018 3M Settlement available for time-sensitive projects that are consistent with the settlement’s top priority — ensuring safe drinking water for communities in the East Metropolitan Area. 

An example of an expedited project might be to install the infrastructure needed to hook up a neighborhood to a municipal water supply during already planned road construction for the area. In this example, some homes may have individual temporary safe drinking water sources, it makes sense to install the needed infrastructure while roads are already under construction. 

Submission of applications are open to everyone, including individuals, for-profit businesses, nonprofit organizations, and public entities including state, tribes, counties, schools, and higher education institutions. 

A list of expedited project criteria is available below. Project submissions can made using this online application form.  Applications will be accepted until May 25.

Questions about the expedited project process can be emailed to pfcinfo.pca@state.mn.us

Agendas for April work group meetings

The agendas for the April meetings of the Government and 3M Working Group and Citizen–Business Work Group are posted below. The agendas for each of these meetings is the same. Both meetings are being held in the Training Room of the Cottage Grove City Hall located at 12800 Ravine Parkway South.

Conceptual Drinking Water Supply Plan

The current focus of the Drinking Water Supply Technical Subgroup is to create a Conceptual Drinking Water Supply Plan by the end of December 2019. This plan will provide direction on how to provide clean, sustainable drinking water while addressing each community’s needs now and into the future.  The plan will take into account both public water systems and private wells, using a region‐wide  approach. It will be completed with input from the main work groups and members of the general public, and will likely result in projects within each of the affected communities. 

The file below is a working draft of this plan. It will be updated periodically as needed.  The file below it provides a detailed list of the task needed to complete it, and a schedule for accomplishing those tasks. It includes two points in the process at which public meetings will be held to solicit input and feedback.

Criteria for screening, evaluating drinking water supply projects

The MPCA, DNR, Citizen–Business Group and Government and 3M Working Group have created a set of criteria that will be used to screen and evaluate proposed drinking water supply projects. Those criteria are in the file below.

Well sampling in the east metro area

Since 2003, the MPCA and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) have sampled more than 2,700 private residential wells and 100 non-community public (i.e. small businesses, churches, schools) wells in the east metro area for perfluorochemicals (PFCs). Between now and the end of June 2019, the MPCA and MDH expect to sample approximately 1,100 more private wells.

If you live in the area that is a priority for testing, you can request that your private well water be tested. You can figure out if you live in the priority testing area using this interactive map. A field in the upper left corner allows you to enter your address. 

If you live in the priority sampling area, you can request to have your well tested by filling out and submitting this online form.

The MPCA and MDH are working through the list of sampling requests as we are able based on current resources. We are experiencing a high volume of requests at this time and will address requests as soon as we are able. You will be contacted based on your location compared to the current sampling area we are working through.

More information about the priority testing area is available on the Well sampling in the East Metro Area webpage.