"Forever chemicals" found in more Minnesota waters
State regulators are raising concerns about water quality at hundreds more lakes, rivers, streams and wetland areas.
Driving the news: More than 300 bodies of water were added to the updated "impaired waters" list proposed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, bringing the total of troubled sites to nearly 3,000.
- The additions include bodies of water where "forever chemicals" were newly detected in fish tissue, including a stretch of the St. Croix River between Taylors Falls Dam and Lake St. Croix.
Context: The list, based on water quality monitoring, is released every two years in accordance with the federal Clean Water Act.
- MPCA then works with partners to try to address the pollution problems.
Between the lines: Most of the impairments are "unhealthy conditions for fish and bugs," per an MPCA release.
- Other reasons include bacteria, sulfate levels in wild rice and and the presence of PFAS, the "forever chemicals" used in plastic and other products.
What they're saying: "Minnesota's water is its most valuable resource and everyone expects our lakes and streams to be suitable for swimming and fishing," MPCA commissioner Katrina Kessler said in a statement. "While Minnesota has made progress in cleaning up waters, too many of our lakes and streams are in still trouble."
1 bright spot: MPCA was able to remove 31 bodies of water from the last list thanks to improved water quality.
Go deeper: The full draft list, which is open to public comment, is posted on MPCA's website.
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