3M poisoning water

October 19th, 2019

3M stopped making PFC’s a long time ago, I’d guess when they figured out the danger (people still use teflon?!?!). But it doesn’t just go away, it’s spreading, and it’s in Minnesota’s water, and elsewhere around the country too. Du Pont is responsible for a lot of similar contamination of water, another similar story for another day.

PFAS map above — Purple dots above are a “well advisory.” Green dots are “no or low PFAS.” Nope, inadequate. I want green to be NO PAS, and oh, say, yellow for “low PFAS” and definition of “low.” Not labeling “low” when there IS contaminated water is disingenuous.

Last year, the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office settled a suit with 3M over its pollution, poisoning, of water with PFCs and related dangerous substances like PFOA, etc…

3M SETTLEMENT PAGE

Settlement was for $850 million dollars, $720 million after expenses, including attorney fees, will go to local water issues.

Here’s the agreement:

Minnesota vs. 3M Company Agreement

So this is in the paper today:

Woodbury shuts down sixth water well over pollution concerns

Looking at the agreement, they’re terming the $$$ in the settlement a “grant,” specifically, that “3M will make a Grant in the amount of $850 million to the State which shall be held in the 3M Grant for Water Quality and Sustainability Fund, within fifteen (15) days from
the Effective Date of this Agreement.” (see agreement above, p. 3.) No admissions here…

Framing it in a way that doesn’t stress clean up, and instead focuses on happy language… “enhance the quality, quantity and sustainability…” GOOD GRIEF…

As the first and highest priority, the MPCA and/or the DNR shall utilize
the Grant referenced in paragraph 13 above to enhance the quality, quantity and sustainability of the drinking water in the East Metropolitan Area, which shall include, but is not necessarily limited to, the cities of Woodbury, Oakdale, Lake Elmo, Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park, Afton, and Newport and the townships of West Lakeland and Grey Cloud Island. The goal of this highest priority work is to ensure clean drinking water in sufficient supply to residents and businesses in the East Metropolitan Area to meet their current and future water needs. Examples of projects in this first priority may include, but are not limited to, the development of alternative drinking water sources for municipalities and individual households (including but not limited to creation or relocation of municipal wells), the treatment of existing water supplies, water conservation and efficiency, open space acquisition, and groundwater recharge (including projects that encourage, enhance, and assist groundwater recharge). For individual households, projects may include, but are not limited to, connecting those residences to municipal water supplies, providing individual treatment systems, or constructing new wells. The MPCA shall conduct a source assessment and feasibility study regarding the role of the Valley Branch Water District’s project known as Project 1007 in the conveyance of PFCs in the environment. In selecting and performing activities pursuant to this paragraph, the State shall prioritize water supplies where health based values, health risk limits, and/or health risk indices for PFCs are exceeded.

Here’s the “3M settlement: financial framework” which includes this statement:
Money in the Remediation Fund is appropriated to the MPCA and DNR to be spent for a variety of purposes, including taking remedial actions and rehabilitating and restoring natural resources.”

Seems to me, that “including” means it’s an afterthought, not the primary purpose.

The law is STRICT LIABILITY for those who cause the harm, but I’m not seeing a requirement to CLEAN UP, only that they’re paying in to the state. Am I missing something here? From the “3M settlement: financial framework” again:

MERLA makes responsible person strictly liable not only to clean up contamination from hazardous substances (i.e. Superfund), but also to pay damages to the state for the resulting harm to natural resources. By establishing a legal cause of action to recover for natural resource damages, MERLA recognizes the value of the state’s natural resources and the importance of restoring them as much as possible for the benefit of the public. Minn. Stat. §115B.04,subd.1(3).

Now another Woodbury well is poisoned. How on earth will they clean up this mess for $850 million, when it’s increasing, where additional wells are poisoned. Isn’t this map of purple dot “well advisory” horrifying? Look again:

Color me skeptical, well… furious.

Here are the reports for this “grant.”

3M Settlement biannual report and Spending Plan for FY2020 (August 2019)

3M Settlement — determining how priorities will be met (April 2019)

3M Settlement biannual report  (February 2019)

11/19 – PPSA Annual Hearing

October 18th, 2019

It’s that time of year again, the Power Plant Siting Act Annual Hearing.

And here’s the…

Here’s the Power Plant Siting Act — Minn. Stat. Ch. 216E!

Why an Annual Hearing? Because the statute says so:

216E.07 ANNUAL HEARING.

Here are the reports from prior PPSA Annual Hearings:

2000 Summary of Proceedings

2000 Report EQB

2001 Summary of Proceedings

2001 Report EQB

2002 Summary of Proceedings

2002 Report to EQB

2003 Summary of Proceedings

2003 Report to EQB

2004 Summary of Proceedings

2004 Report to EQB

2005 Report to PUC

2006 Report to PUC – Docket 06-1733

2007 Report to PUC – Docket 07-1579

2008 Report to PUC – Docket 08-1426

2009 Report to PUC – Docket 09-1351

2010 Report to PUC – Docket 10-222

2011 Report to PUC – Docket 11-324

2012 Report to PUC – Docket 12-360

2013 Report to PUC – Docket 13-965

2014 Summary Report– Docket 14-887

2015 Summary Report – Docket 15-785

2016 Summary Report – Docket 16-18


Just filed yesterday, the Jewell Jinkins Intervenors request that the Wisconsin Public Service Commission take another look at their decision approving the CPCN and routing for the Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line:

This is the final shot before the Commission at this PSC CPCN approval. The next possible step is Wisconsin’s Circuit Court, due 30 days after they (likely) reject this Petition. Other intervenors are planning on heading that way, ones with solid backing and resources.

It’s almost solar!!!

October 7th, 2019

STAY, Freeborn Wind!

October 2nd, 2019

And we SCORE! Association of Freeborn County Landowners had a win earlier today when the Minnesota Court of Appeals granted our Motion for Stay of the Freeborn Wind Appeal as the Xcel Request for Amendment goes forward. YES! Sure glad we’re not having to do two things at once!

And FYI, here’s Xcel’s Amendment Request:

Ex 1_Xcel Site Permit Amendment Application_Part 1 of 4_20198-155331-01Download

Ex 2_Xcel Site Permit Amendment Application_Part 2 of 4_20198-155331-02Download

Ex 3_Xcel Site Permit Amendment Application_Part 3 of 4_20198-155331-03Download

Ex 4_Xcel Site Permit Amendment Application_Part 4 of 4_20198-155331-04Download