Sauk Rapids, Minnesota -- Clean Water Action Minnesota and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy to hold a joint town hall meeting at the Sauk Rapids Government Center on Sunday April 30th at 6:00 pm to discuss the urgent crisis perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are presenting across Minnesota. Senator Aric Putnman (DFL-14) and Representative Dan Wolgatmott (DFL-14B) have confirmed attendance.
PFAS are a class of nearly 12,000 chemicals, also known as “forever chemicals” because of their inability to break down in nature. PFAS bioaccumulates in humans and scientists have identified a probable link to a variety of health impacts such as preeclampsia, thyroid conditions, low birth weight, cancer, liver issues, and more.
PFAS chemicals pose a threat when they enter into the water and either contaminate fish and wildlife or are consumed through drinking or cooking.
“We’ve been hearing from these town halls across Minnesota that this is a huge priority for residents. They are scared and justifiably so. They have been poisoned for decades by companies who knew what they were doing," said Avonna Starck, Minnesota State Director of Clean Water Action. “ Minnesotans want action at the legislative level to protect them and their families from the array of terrible health consequences these chemicals cause.”
Starck also noted that corporate interests are swarming the Capitol advocating for chemical companies’ interests, prioritizing profits over safety for the water we drink and the health of Minnesota families.
“Minnesota and 3M is the origin story of PFAS. It all began here. We therefore have an opportunity and a responsibility to lead the charge on addressing the problem of PFAS,” said Andrea Lovoll, Legislative Director for the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy. “We do this by enacting laws that help equip our state agencies with critical data to aid their public health and environmental response, as well as stopping the flood of new chemicals in our bodies and environment.”
The town hall will highlight the PFAS Prevention Package, a package of bills addressing banning PFAS in non-essential items (HF1000/SF834), the requirement for manufacturers to disclose if they are selling products with PFAS (HF372/SF450), and the ban on the use of firefighting foam with PFAS (SF776/HF742). The language for all three bills have been included in the Environment and Energy Omnibus bill (HF2310), which passed off the House floor on a party line vote of (69-59) and off the Senate floor with bipartisan support (37-29). The language is now headed for a bipartisan conference committee vote.
About Clean Water Action
Clean Water Action works at the national, state and local level to develop strong, community-based environmental leadership and bring together diverse constituencies to work cooperatively for policies that improve lives and protect water. Clean Water Action has been in Minnesota since 1982, focused on finding solutions to health, consumer, environmental and community problems and working to protect our water and our people. Learn more at www.cleanwater.org/MN
About the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
For nearly half a century, MCEA has worked to enact and enforce smart environmental laws in Minnesota. With offices in St. Paul and Duluth and a team that includes some of the state's foremost environmental law and policy professionals, MCEA educates about issues and supports communities in their fight to protect their environment. MCEA is unique in Minnesota in its use of top legal expertise in the pursuit of environmental justice. For more information, visit www.MNcenter.org