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3M settles Minnesota lawsuit for $850 million

Company says it will not admit public health problem with chemical disposal.

Posted: Feb 20, 2018 4:39 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - 3M Co. says it is settling a lawsuit by the state of Minnesota over chemical disposal without admitting a public health issue.

3M agreed to pay $850 million just as the lawsuit was about to go to trial. It revolves around 3M's disposal of perfluorochemicals, used for years in products like Scotchgard.

The state says the money will be used to clean up and safeguard drinking water in the eastern suburbs of St. Paul. The state accused 3M of contaminating groundwater as it disposed of PFCs over decades.

3M vice president John Banovetz says the company is proud of its environmental stewardship.

The company faces at least two dozen similar lawsuits over PFCs around the country.

Governor Mark Dayton issued the following statement on the settlement:

“This settlement is an enormously important advance to protect the health of over 67,000 Minnesotans in our East Metro area, who deserve clean and safe drinking water. I thank Attorney General Lori Swanson for her long and exceptionally hard work to obtain this settlement. Her success will greatly strengthen the protection of the region's water quality for present and future residents.

“I am also mindful that this settlement comes at the expense of a great Minnesota company, 3M, whose many positive contributions to our state and our citizens greatly exceed these unfortunate circumstances. I look forward to resuming our cordial working relationship and supporting 3M's continued success for many years to come.”

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