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Bunn, Saltzman comment on clean-up plan

State Rep. Julie Bunn (D- Lake Elmo) and State Sen. Kathy Saltzman (D-Woodbury) have commended Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Commissioner Brad Moore for signing off on a remediation plan to clean-up the Washington County Closed Landfill in Lake Elmo.

This past legislative session, Bunn and Saltzman were chief authors of legislation that will fund the clean-up of the 40-year-old landfill -- a major source of PFC (perfluorochemicals) pollution in Lake Elmo and Woodbury's groundwater, including PFBA (perfluorobutanoic acid).

The legislation was critical to implementing a clean-up plan, which under the proposal approved by the commissioner will direct the landfill to be dug up, lined, reburied and then capped.

In addition to securing funding for the project, Bunn and Saltzman worked to ensure the final engineering will include greater protection for drinking water than originally proposed by the agency in the Governor's budget.

"We successfully argued for and then worked with our legislative colleagues to secure funding for a more protective system -- one with a triple liner," said Bunn. "Hearing the concerns of the community and knowing the geologic conditions at this site, we felt that these greater protections were needed to ensure the safety of our local groundwater and drinking water supply."

Moore signed the "Remedy Decision Document" for the project on June 18. At a briefing with Bunn and Saltzman on June 19, agency staff outlined the timeline and plans for proceeding with the project.

Further investigation of the landfill will occur this summer and fall, and then the project will be put up for bid in early 2009. The project will then proceed in three phases from 2009 through 2011.

It represents one of the largest closed landfill clean-ups in state history. During the project, the MPCA plans to have a website so that the community is able to track progress on the project.

In addition to the $20 million in state funds allocated in the 2008 bonding bill, 3M will contribute $8 million to the clean-up.

Both legislators are encouraged that work on this project will be moving forward shortly.

"Since the discovery of PFBA contamination in local water supplies in January 2007, we have worked together as a team with city leaders from Woodbury and Lake Elmo to address the community's concerns," said Saltzman.

"By cleaning up this site, further leakage of PFCs from the landfill into area aquifers will be halted. Over time, we can expect existing levels of chemicals to decline," she added.

Residents with further questions or concerns can contact Bunn, chair of the East Metro PFC Oversight Working Group of the Health and Human Services Policy Committee, at (651) 296-4244 or by e-mail at

Saltzman can be reached at (651) 296-4166 or by e-mail at