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Woodbury will not intervene in 3M civil suit

Two months after the state filed a civil suit against 3M Co. to pay for environmental damages caused by chemical pollution in the area, the city of Woodbury was asked to intervene. On Wednesday, Woodbury City Council decided it was not necessary.

"We are not a party to the matter," City Attorney Mark Vierling said. "I don't know if that's going to change as of right now."

At the end of Wednesday's City Council meeting, the council adjourned early to a closed session where it decided not to participate in the lawsuit.

Vierling said he believes the city was asked by Hennepin County to intervene because it's included in the region where the contamination was migrating. The city has tested its wells and found that they were below the projected level.

In December, Attorney General Lori Swanson filed the suit alleging the company disposed of perfluorochemical, or PFC, waste and wastewater for more than 50 years, which contaminated ground water and surface water, harming natural resources and fish. Some of the PFC waste had been disposed of in Woodbury.

The company used PFCs to make products such as Scotchguard and other stain-resistant and fire-retardant products.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.