3M and PFC groundwater contamination in Minnesota

Pollution Control chooses most aggressive plan for cleaning up former 3M site

Old landfill
The former 3M landfill in Woodbury.
MPR Photo/Bill Alkofer

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said it wants 3M to remove as much PFC contaminated soil as possible from its former Oakdale dump site.

Chemicals from the landfill have been leaking into the groundwater, potentially contaminating the water of thousands of east metro residents.

3M plant on the bluffs
The 3M production facility in Cottage Grove is situated on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. The company has used these grounds for years as a disposal site for chemical compounds, which are contaminating the river.
MPR Photo/Bill Alkofer

Of the three options presented by the company, the MPCA chose the most aggressive clean up plan.

Superfund supervisor Doug Wetzstein said the MPCA is recommending that at least four feet of soil be removed from the site with some deeper excavations extending to the water table. He said the agency is holding 3M to a clean up agreement signed last year that puts a priority on removing contaminated soil.

"That's why there was a strong emphasis put on excavation of the material, and that will be the same for all three of the sites that 3M is the responsible party for," Wetzstein said.

3M also has dump sites containing PFC waste in Woodbury and Cottage Grove. The MPCA will make decisions on those sites this summer.