Around MN: PFOS?, feeding the world, a struggle to address disparity

The Big Story blog is digging deep on a water pollution today, sparked by Met Council’s consideration of a lawsuit against 3M over chemical discharges. Here’s some background reading to prepare you for the day-ahead on Paul’s blog.

Met Council considers legal options against 3M over chemical discharge

The Metropolitan Council has formally asked its lawyers to explore legal options against 3M related to millions of dollars in costs of meeting new state requirements for discharging perfluorinated chemicals from wastewater treatment plants into the environment (MPR News).

Increased PFCs in Groundwater at 3M Woodbury Site

Analysis of on-site groundwater sampling results completed by 3M last month showed that levels of two of the PFCs of concern, known as PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfate), had increased in monitoring wells at the site. 3M notified the MPCA of the findings on Sept. 14 (Fox News).

Testing shows no harmful PFC levels in Cottage Grove wells

State officials say recent testing of private wells in Cottage Grove and Woodbury did not detect harmful levels of 3M-manufactured chemicals (South Washington County Bulletin).

PFOS explained

Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), or perfluorooctane sulfonate, is a man-made fluorosurfactant and global pollutant. PFOS was the key ingredient in Scotchgard, a fabric protector made by 3M, and numerous stain repellents. High levels of PFOS have been detected in humans and wildlife raising health concerns (Wikipedia).

Map: 3M disposal sites and Chemolite plant

In two wells in Woodbury, an increasing level of PFCs — a chemical made by 3M — has been detected at a former dump site. No increases have been found in nearby domestic wells, however (Pioneer Press).

Also on MN Today

Twin Cities unemployment divide for black, white people is nation’s widest

The Twin Cities metro area has the nation’s largest unemployment disparity rate between black and white people, and some of the most lopsided racial unemployment rates overall (MPR News).

Rep. Keith Ellison, liberals look to brew their own Tea Party

Frustrated at being left on the sidelines by conservatives, liberals like U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison look to focus attention on corporate greed (Star Tribune).

VIDEO: Home Foreclosures Impact School Enrollment

State budget deal could lead to higher rent

If you rent an apartment somewhere in Minnesota, odds are you didn’t pay much attention to the debate in the Legislature over the Market Value Homestead Tax Credit for houses. You should have. It may be about to push your rent up 10 percent or more (Minnecon).

Prosecutors: Recordings from wiretap of Minnesota women shows they talked of supporting jihad

Two Minnesota women accused of funneling money to a terror group in Somalia talked about collecting money for al-Shabab, supporting fighters instead of other charities and the possibility that FBI was listening in on their conversations, according to hours of recorded phone calls played for jurors (Washington Post).

U researcher offers ideas to feed world without ruining planet

A study led by a University of Minnesota researcher and published online Wednesday by the journal Nature provides a snapshot of the perilous state of the world’s food system — and how it has changed the face of the planet (Star Tribune).

Deal close on cut in farm subsidies

Under pressure to cut farm subsidies, Agriculture Committee leaders in Congress are closing in on a 10-year savings target near $23 billion, about a third less than what House Republicans and President Barack Obama had proposed but still a significant change (Politico).

Blog Box

Author: Liberal media bias make the country more liberal

Media organizations are liberal and create a liberal filter that shapes our world view. The metaphoric glass affects not just what we see, but how we think. That is, media bias really does make us more liberal (Powerline). Author Tim Groseclose will be appearing in Minnespolis October 19.

Looking back: Stillwater bridge comes tumbling down

Brent Peterson, executive director of the Washington County Historical Society, writes about the history of the Stillwater Bridge crashing into the St. Croix, and being rebuilt (a couple of times) (Stillwater Patch).

Minnesota Democrats giving a helping hand to Klobuchar-Bachmann Boondoggle Bridge

Proponents of the massive $690 million freeway bridge have waged a disingenuous–and sometimes secretive–lobbying war of misinformation. Klobuchar and Franken have pitched the Klobuchar-Bachmann bill as a “one-time exemption” and tried to downplay the potential for it to set a “dangerous precedent” (Ripple in Stillwater).

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