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Thursday, December 01, 2022

Minnesota Asks Businesses To Test For ‘Chemicals Forever’

Minnesota Asks Businesses To Test For 'Chemicals Forever'

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency officials said Tuesday they hope to work with hundreds of businesses across the state to test and control the spread of PFAS, a long-lasting chemical that can pollute water and cause health problems in animals and humans.

On Tuesday, MPCA leaders released a draft proposal asking wastewater treatment plants, landfills, airports, chrome plating plants and automotive shredders to collect samples from their facilities and test them for per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds known as PFAS.

The new rules are aimed at limiting the spread of chemicals before they enter waterways or pollute the air. According to MPCA PFAS Coordinator Sophie Green, the information from the tests could help the state better understand what kinds of PFAS are being created or moved through Minnesota facilities.

“We expect to get a wide range of data, not only on legacy PFASs, but on these new PFASs, which we expect to see a little more at some of these sites,” Green said.

Recommendations are not final. And they are subject to change before they take effect early next year. The agency asked for public opinion on the new rules by December 20.

Green, along with MPCA Commissioner Katrina Kessler, expressed the hope that asking manufacturers to start testing would have a stronger answer than asking for an assessment. Tests can cost up to $ 500 per sample. They said Michigan has made good progress after this approach.

“We understand that if we can do things with partners in a voluntary or less regulatory environment, we will succeed faster,” Kessler said, “but we have the authority to demand treatment and reductions if this approach shows that more reductions are necessary.”

MPCA officials said last week that this is the first time PFAS has been spotted on the waterways of Greater Minnesota. There are currently 26 bodies of water in the state that are contaminated with PFAS at levels below water quality standards.

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