Minnesota officials lower chemical limits in drinking water

Published 8:06 am Wednesday, May 24, 2017

ST. PAUL — Minnesota health officials have lowered exposure limits for some chemicals that have been in drinking water in the east metro area and Bemidji.

The chemicals are known as PFOA and PFOS and were used at a 3M manufacturing site and dumped at sites in Washington County.

State health officials say there’s no immediate health threat, but after reviewing research about the chemicals’ effects on fetuses and infants, they concluded current federal standards don’t go far enough to protect infants from long-term risks.

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The new guidelines affect public and private drinking water wells in Bemidji and in several east metro communities, including Cottage Grove, Woodbury, Lake Elmo, Oakdale and St. Paul Park. State officials say those cities will take steps to provide drinking water at or below the new levels.