Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
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Environmental Health Division
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Sites in Minnesota
Working together, Minnesota state agencies developed Minnesota’s PFAS Blueprint to support a holistic and systematic approach to address PFAS concerns.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) have investigated a number sites across the state where PFAS were released to the environment. More information can be found on PFAS in Minnesota (PCA).
The MPCA also monitors PFAS in the general environment of Minnesota. This type of monitoring is referred to as ambient monitoring and you can learn more about it on MPCA's Monitoring PFAS (PCA) webpage.
East Metro Sites
In the eastern Twin Cities metropolitan region ("East Metro"), these sites include the 3M Cottage Grove manufacturing facility and large waste disposal facilities where PFAS-bearing wastes were disposed. For location of sites, see the East Metro Site Map (PDF).
Visit the MPCA Well sampling in the East Metro Area webpage to see their interactive map which you can use to locate your address and determine if you are within an area of concern in the East Metro. If your property is within the priority sampling area outlined by the dashed line on the map, and you have a private drinking water well, you can request to have your water tested by filling out the Groundwater Sampling Request Form.
MDH Health Assessments for East Metro Sites
- Health Consultation: 3M Chemolite: Perfluorochemical Releases at the 3M Cottage Grove Facility, February 18, 2005 (PDF)
- Perfluorochemical Contamination in Southern Washington County, Northern Dakota County, and Southeastern Ramsey County, Minnesota, January 5, 2012 (PDF)
- Public Health Assessment: Perfluorochemical Contamination in Lake Elmo and Oakdale, Washington County, Minnesota - 2008 (PDF)
- Review of Private Well Data: Former Washington County Sanitary Landfill - July 2009 (PDF)
- Water Treatment Using Carbon Filters: GAC Filter Information
- Special Well and Boring Construction Areas
- 3M Report - Locations of the 3 Dump Sites that Constitute the "Oakdale Dump", 2005 (PDF)
- Environmental Protection Agency:
EPA Superfund Program: Oakdale Dump, Oakdale, MN
Pig's Eye Dump
The former Pig's Eye Landfill is located within the City of St. Paul, Ramsey County. The dump is in an area originally occupied by small lakes and wetlands, and was operated by the City of St. Paul from the mid-1950s to 1972 for the disposal of mixed municipal, commercial and industrial waste from the St. Paul area. MDH completed a Health Consultation for the site in 2000. For the full report, please contact us.
Other Places where PFAS may have been released
Statewide, MDH and MPCA have evaluated other places where PFAS may have been released to the environment, including: fire training facilities where special PFAS-bearing fire-fighting foams (also called AFFF) were reportedly used, chrome plating plants, waste water treatment plants, and landfills. Although PFAS have been detected at many of these locations, most do not pose a risk to public health.
Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFFs)
AFFFs are used by fire fighters to help extinguish fires that are difficult to fight, particularly fires that involve petroleum or other flammable liquids (also known as Class B fires). Not all firefighting foams are classified as AFFF. Some AFFF formulations contain a class of chemicals known as Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). Sites in Minnesota include Duluth Air National Guard, Bemidji, and Western Area Fire Training Academy (WAFTA).
In 2008, the MPCA conducted a survey of fire departments, airports, refineries, and other potential AFFF users around the state to identify locations where PFAS-containing AFFF has been repeatedly used for training or firefighting purposes. MDH and MPCA staff reviewed this information and identified a number of locations where nearby water supply wells were potentially at risk.
In 2009, MDH sampled municipal wells in 17 communities and 16 noncommunity public wells (those that serve businesses, schools, churches, etc.) near the identified AFFF sites.
Low levels of some PFAS were detected in 7 municipal systems. No PFAS were detected in the other municipal wells or in any of the noncommunity public wells tested. View the summary of the Class B Firefighting Foam- Municipal Well Investigative Sampling Results - 2009 (PDF).
In 2008-2011, MPCA tested the soil, surface water, groundwater, and sediments at and near 13 AFFF sites around the state. They detected high levels of PFAS at some of the sites, but in most cases the contamination did not affect a large area or pose a risk to humans or the environment. For more information on these investigations view the survey and sampling activity report: PFC Containing Firefighting foams and their Use in Minnesota – 2011 (PDF). Three sites – Duluth Air National Guard Base, Bemidji Airport, and Western Area Fire Training Academy (WAFTA) - were identified where PFAS had spread far enough that MDH and MPCA decided to test nearby residential wells. The MPCA is continuing to investigate these sites and evaluating what additional actions may be needed.
Stress at Contaminated Sites: Coping with the stress that environmental contamination can cause (PDF)