Washington County, Minnesota announced this morning that water at Point Douglas County Park, near the mouth of the St. Croix River, has elevated amounts of toxic PFAS chemicals.
“After recent testing, PFAS levels above Minnesota Department of Health standards have been found at Point Douglas Park. This is not an emergency. You do not need an alternative source of water. However, when visiting the park, you may wish to bring your own water. Washington County is currently working with the MPCA to have a filtration system placed on the drinking well at Point Douglas Park.”
In November 2021, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced that fish in the lower St. Croix had dangerously high levels of PFAS. The chemicals are related to products like Scotchgard and Teflon, which hade previously polluted groundwater in areas between Lake Elmo and the St. Croix, as well as across the country.
The MPCA considers water with 0.05 ng/liter or less of PFAS safe for human consumption. Previously, at least one sample of the St. Croix was found to have levels at 37.7 ng/liter.
PFAS are commonly known as “forever chemicals,” because they do not degrade over time, instead accumulating in the environment. The chemicals have been linked to increased risks for cancer, liver disease, immune system disfunction, and other negative health impacts, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.