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3M working groups launch this month

COTTAGE GROVE — The inaugural meetings for the 3M settlement working groups have been scheduled.

The state of Minnesota and 3M Corp. agreed to an $850 million settlement in February regarding the dumping of perfluorochemicals, or PFCs, in the East Metro. Two working groups are being formed to discuss how to use the $720 million remaining after legal fees.

PREVIOUSLY: Representatives appointed to 3M working groups3M settlement bill passes House

The Minnesota Department of Health, Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources announced the finalized structure of the working groups last month. The Government and 3M Working Group will concentrate on policy decisions, while the Citizen-Business Working Group will recommend projects and priorities.

One member of each group will act as liaison, attending the other group's meetings and reporting back.

The agencies are still reviewing applications for the Citizen-Business Workgroup members, which will be composed of about 15 residents or business people from the affected areas.

The DNR's Steve Colvin said over 60 people applied for the group.

The Government and 3M Working Group is being filled by representatives from local city halls.

The Cottage Grove representative will be City Administrator Charlene Stevens; Woodbury will send City Administrator Clint Gridley as the representative; City Administrator Kevin Walsh will be the St. Paul Park representative; and Mayor Dan Lund will be the Newport representative.

Between the two groups, there will be representatives from Cottage Grove, Woodbury, St. Paul Park, Newport, Grey Cloud Island, Afton, Oakdale, Lake Elmo, Maplewood, Denmark Township, West Lakeland Township, the DNR, MPCA, Minnesota Department of Health, 3M, Washington County and the Metropolitan Council.

The working groups are focused on two main priorities for spending the money: fixing water quality and protecting natural resources affected by the pollutant.

Meetings of all 3M Settlement work groups are open to the public, and time will be reserved at the end of each meeting for questions from attendees.

If you go:

What: 3M settlement working group meetings

Where: Washington County's Cottage Grove Service Center, 13000 Ravine Parkway

When: The Government and 3M Working Group is 9 a.m. to noon July 13, and the Citizen - Business Work Group is 1-4 p.m. July 13 The meetings are open to the public and end with time for questions.