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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Fue Lee (DFL)

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PFAS Drinking Water Protections a focus of House Capital Investment Committee

Monday, April 15, 2024

St. Paul, MN - On the heels of last week’s announcement of new federal regulations on PFAS and PFOS in drinking water from the EPA, today the House Capital Investment Committee held an informational hearing on PFAS drinking water protections, including presentations from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Minnesota Department of Health, and several bills related to investing in water infrastructure in Hastings, Sauk Rapids, and Woodbury

The committee also heard House File 5309, authored by the committee’s Chair, Rep. Fue Lee (DFL - Minneapolis), which requires the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to submit a PFAS removal report to the legislative committees with jurisdiction over environment and capital investment by January 15, 2025.

“Addressing the state’s water infrastructure is common practice in Capital Investment, but the scale to which polluters have harmed our water should not be shouldered solely by the taxpayers,” said Rep. Lee. “The manufacturers that either create or utilize PFAS can’t just sit on the sidelines and profit from pollution - they have a financial responsibility to help with the clean up as well.”

The report that would be created by Rep. Lee’s HF 5309 would provide specific actionable recommendations and strategies for the state to require PFAS manufacturers to pay for the cost of purchasing and installing infrastructure designed to remove PFAS from intake waters at municipal wastewater facilities statewide, as well as the cost of treating and disposing of PFAS.

The report would also specify any legislation needed to implement the strategies and incorporate options from the PFAS Manufacturers Fee Work Group report. Any unspent funds from last year’s PFAS Manufacturers Fee Work Group may be used for this new report.

Last year’s Environment Budget Bill created and funded a PFAS Manufacturers Fee Work Group. The purpose of this group was to review options for collecting a fee from PFAS manufacturers within the state and submit a report to the chairs of legislative committees with jurisdiction over environment and natural resources. This report was submitted in February of this year and can be found online.

No official action was taken on legislation during today’s hearing. Additional information, including agency presentations can be found on the committee’s webpage. Video of today’s hearing is available on the House Public Information YouTube channel