Read the full article by Alex Derosier (Duluth News Tribune)

“ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Tuesday, March 22, released a list of 379 facilities it will survey for emissions of ‘forever chemicals’ that have become of increasing public health and environmental concern in recent decades.

The monitoring plan is the latest step in the state’s strategy to address PFAS contamination and comes one year after Minnesota pollution control officials first released their plan to address the issue .

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, are a group of more than 5,000 chemicals used for their non-stick and water-resistant properties. PFAS are used in a wide variety of products, and are known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they don’t break down in the environment and can accumulate in the tissue of living things. The pollution control agency said the need for expanded statewide monitoring became particularly apparent after it listed several Greater Minnesota lakes and streams contaminated with the chemicals for the first time in 2021.

PFAS are found in air emissions from industry as well as soil and groundwater across the state, pollution control Commissioner Katrina Kessler said. Her agency warned last year that nearly every closed landfill in the state is leaking PFAS into groundwater sources. More than half of the 110 landfills monitored by the agency caused unsafe levels of drinking water contamination in 41 counties.

The new PFAS monitoring list includes 137 manufacturing and industrial facilities, eight regional airports in Greater Minnesota, 91 wastewater treatment plants and 143 landfills, recycling facilities and composting centers. Pollution control officials are asking the facilities to conduct sampling and report back to the state by the end of 2023. Inclusion on the list means the facility could potentially be emitting PFAS into the environment and does not mean the facility is a confirmed emitter, officials said.”…