Senator Heather Gustafson Applauds New Federal Drinking Water Standards for Six Individual PFAS

ST. PAUL, Minn. — On Wednesday, April 10, Senator Heather Gustafson (DFL-Vadnais Heights) joined Clean Water Action, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, and community advocates to applaud the Environmental Protection Agency’s new drinking water standards for six individual PFAS that have been linked to serious health effects such as cancer and damage to reproductive and immune systems.

“Last year, Minnesota passed Amara’s Law, a pivotal piece of legislation that banned PFAS in 11 consumer items, addressed PFAS in fire foam, and mandated information disclosure for PFAS-containing products,” said Senator Gustafson. “This protected our environment and health and set a precedent that has inspired states across the nation to follow our lead. As a proud author of that information disclosure bill, I am here today to affirm our commitment to safeguarding our water, our environment, and the health of every Minnesotan.

“Despite all our progress, PFAS remains a national concern. The stark reality is that Americans are still consuming forever chemicals. While Amara’s Law is a significant achievement, it’s just the beginning. Congress has acknowledged the gravity of this issue, allocating substantial funds to water utilities to adhere to PFAS drinking water standards, including $10 billion through the bipartisan infrastructure law and billions more through revolving funds. Our fight against PFAS is just beginning.

“Minnesota’s partnership with the federal government continues, and it is the legislature’s job to ensure any investment in clean water is used correctly. Last year, I delivered $13.5 million for Lino Lakes’ water treatment center since their only operable tank contained PFAS. Further, the East Metro is not just fighting PFAS. Water Gremlin’s pollution of our soil and water means our communities are also affected by other toxic chemicals. I hope that as we focus on PFAS, we realize the dangers of all pollutants in our environment and continue to prioritize clean water for the health and safety of Minnesotans.”

Chemical companies sell PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) for application to products such as paper and textiles as stain-resistant, water-repellent, and grease-proofing treatments. These toxic compounds are also widely used in industrial processes and then discharged into waterways. PFAS are known as “forever” chemicals because they persist and don’t break down in the environment.

The PFAS drinking water standard finalized today will set science-based limits on PFAS in drinking water for six PFAS. All six PFAS have been extensively studied and have been linked to serious health harms, including cancer and harm to the reproductive and immune systems.

Senator Gustafson represents Senate District 36, including Vadnais Heights, White Bear Lake, Lino Lakes, and surrounding areas. Like other communities, the district has faced issues from PFAS, lead, and other toxic chemicals in their water and soil. 

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Senator Heather Gustafson represents Senate District 36 which includes Centerville, Circle Pines, Lino Lakes, North Oaks, Vadnais Heights, and White Bear Lake. She is vice chair of the Education Finance Committee, and serves on the Agriculture, Broadband, and Rural Development Committee and the Jobs and Economic Development Committee.

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