A judge has issued a one-week delay in a trial scheduled to start next week over the dumping of chemicals that leeched into east metro drinking water.
The Minnesota attorney general is seeking $5 billion from Maplewood-based 3M for damage to the state's natural resources with chemicals known as perfluorinated chemicals or PFCs. They were produced by 3M and used in products such as nonstick cookware, Scotchguard stain repellent and firefighting foam.
3M asked had asked for a delay until April to allow it to respond to a report released this week by the Minnesota Department of Health.
The agency said it analyzed health data and found no unusual increase in rates of cancer and adverse birth outcomes in the area where the groundwater contamination occurred.
In its motion, 3M said those findings "undermine (if not destroy)" the state's claims.
Hennepin County District Court Judge Kevin Burke said the proposed April delay was impractical. He said it would either have to be one week or a year.
The attorney general claims that 3M knew PFCs posed a risk to human health and the environment decades ago, but continued to produce the chemicals until 2002.
Jury selection in the trial was scheduled to begin next Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court.