By Karla Bigham, Minnesota Senate District 54
On Feb. 20, 2018 — the same day I was sworn in as state senator — news broke that the state settled its lawsuit against the 3M for $850 million. The Minnesota attorney general filed the lawsuit in 2010 to hold 3M accountable for polluting drinking water and natural resources in the east metro. The Legislature passed a law to safeguard settlement resources, which protects taxpayers like you from having to pay for a problem you did not create.
As a condition of the settlement, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources created work groups to identify and recommend projects that ensure safe drinking water and enhance natural resources in our communities. The first meetings are scheduled for Friday, July 13, at Washington County's Cottage Grove Service Center, 13000 Ravine Parkway S. The Government and 3M Working Group will meet from 9 a.m. to noon. The Citizen — Business Group will meet from 1-4 p.m. Both meetings are open to the public and time is provided to ask questions.
General questions about the 3M settlement can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. My office is also a resource you can contact for information and updates.
A big part of my job as an elected official is to proactively communicate with and engage Minnesotans like you. It's what public service is all about and it's why I love my job. After the legislative session concluded on May 20, I wasted no time getting out of the Capitol and back into our communities. The past month included tours of Leafline Labs, the Xcel Energy nuclear power plant, and the Oak Park Heights prison — all of which employ a significant number of Minnesotans in our area.
I also met with an awesome organization called SoWashCo CARES (Community Action Reaching Every Student). I'm proud of their work to help local students and families in need. One of the ways SoWashCo CARES is making a difference is by hosting free breakfast and lunch at Newport Elementary and my alma mater Park High School. Check them out on Twitter at @SoWashCoCARES or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sowashcocares.
With summer comes road construction, so start planning ahead for a big project on I-494 between Blaine and Hardman avenues scheduled to begin this fall and conclude one year later. The project will improve safety, traffic flow and extend pavement life. For more information, visit www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/i494invergroveheights.
Please continue to contact my office with questions and comments — I am at your service. You can reach me by phone at 651-297-8060 or by email using the contact form available at www.senate.mn/senatorbigham.