Clean Water Current

MPCA study highlights staggering costs to remove PFAS from Minnesota wastewater streams

Jun 6, 2023

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Removing "forever chemicals" from Minnesota's wastewater streams will cost anywhere from $14 billion to $28 billion over the next 20 years, according to a new report.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Tuesday announced the publication of the report, saying the first-of-its-kind study highlights the unaffordable costs of cleaning up per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and the need to reduce the use of PFAS.

The independent study was commissioned by the MPCA as part of Minnesota's PFAS Blueprint, which is the state's plan to prevent, manage and clean up PFAS pollution.

According to MPCA estimates, PFAS can be bought for $50 to $1,000 per pound, but cost between $2.7 million and $18 million per pound to remove and destroy from municipal wastewater, depending on the facility size. For example, small wastewater treatment facilities would face costs over six times greater than large facilities per pound due to economies of scale, the study found.

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