Senator Bigham statement on MPCA enforcement agreement with 3M

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced an enforcement agreement with 3M Wednesday regarding the company’s failure to properly record, store, inspect, and dispose of hundreds of barrels of hazardous waste at its manufacturing and waste incineration facility in Cottage Grove. As part of the agreement, 3M completed 15 corrective measures and paid $80,000 in civil penalties for its violations.

In response, Senator Karla Bigham (DFL-Cottage Grove) released the following statement: 

“Today’s announcement reveals a shocking and egregious disregard for the health and safety of residents of Cottage Grove and the environment from 3M. We should expect corporations to follow the rules and adhere to the guidelines necessary to keep people safe, and yet 3M has once again ignored this responsibility. While corrective action has been taken, $80,000 is an asinine penalty for the level of misconduct and irresponsibility that was displayed. I am aware of additional 3M compliance investigations and look forward to the release of those findings and enforcement decisions once completed by the MPCA. I will work with my partners in the legislature and the state to ensure that 3M is held accountable for these actions and that future penalties are much higher.”

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Karla Bigham represents District 54 in the southeast Twin Cities metro, including parts of Dakota and Washington counties.

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