Hundreds of sites across Minnesota will begin monitoring a class of man-made substances known as “forever chemicals” under a new plan announced by state regulators last month.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a class of chemicals characterized by water- and oil-repellent qualities.
In recent years, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has developed several new strategies to prevent, manage, and clean up PFAS pollution.
In Burnsville, groundwater samples at the Freeway landfill found PFAS contamination at levels 714 times higher than state health values, according to an MPCA study released last year. PFAS contamination was found in 97% of closed landfills tested during the study.
The MPCA will also monitor PFAS at active, licensed state landfills.
The list of 143 landfills and solid waste sites included in the new PFAS monitoring plan includes the Burnsville Waste Management Landfill, the Dem-Con Landfill in Shakopee and the Carver County Composting Facility at the Arboretum. .
The plan, which calls for monitoring at a total of 379 sites, is designed to identify the “largest and most environmentally significant sources of PFAS pollution” as quickly as possible, according to the MPCA.
In Shakopee, CertainTeed Corp and Imagine Print Solutions are among 137 manufacturing or industrial facilities chosen for statewide oversight. The list also includes IWCO Direct, a marketing company, in Chanhassen.
The study of PFAS releases from wastewater treatment plants is another objective of the new program.
The Blue Lake plant operated by the Shakopee Metropolitan Council and the New Prague municipal sewage treatment plant are among 91 sewage treatment facilities listed for monitoring.
Monitoring is expected to begin this year.