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Lake Elmo accepts $2.7M, land from 3M as part of pollution settlement

The city will get 180 acres of land as part of the deal.

The City of Lake Elmo has accepted a settlement from 3M after the city sued the Fortune 500 company over historic contamination of its drinking water.

The city confirmed on Tuesday it'll receive $2.7 million that will be used to maintain the Lake Elmo water system, along with 180 acres of land near its Public Works Facility, which 3M will transfer into the city's ownership.

A decision on how the city will use the land will be made at a later stage. 

In return, Lake Elmo has dismissed the lawsuit against 3M, which related to elevated levels of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in drinking water.

As MPR notes, 3M manufactured PFAS at its Cottage Grove plant for several decades starting in the 1950s.

The substances are used in stain repellents and nonstick cookware, among other items, and prolonged exposure to them has been linked to cancer and impaired child development.

"We believe this is a fair and equitable settlement for both the City and 3M," said Lake Elmo council member Justin Bloyer in a statement on Tuesday.

"The City is anxious to put this matter behind us and is looking forward to working together with 3M to ensure safe drinking water for our residents and businesses."

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"We are committed to working with communities to protect our natural resources,” added John Banovetz, 3M chief technology officer. "With this agreement, LakeElmo and 3M will help support clean drinking water for city residents."

The Lake Elmo City Council was scheduled to approve the settlement at its evening meeting on May 21.

Last year, 3M agreed to settle with the State of Minnesota for $850 million for contaminating large areas of the East Twin Cities Metro with petrofluorochemicals (PFCs) over a period of decades while knowing it was harmful to health, and then attempting to mask it.

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