$1.375 million settlement reached between Douglas Corp. and state agencies over ‘forever chemicals’ damage
Douglas Corporation agreed to a $1.375 million settlement with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for damage to lakes caused by “forever chemicals”, according to a news release from state agencies.
The company, a chrome plating company which was sold by Bluewater Partners to the Spanish company Aludec in 2020, is the alleged source of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and hexavalent chromium that contaminated multiple metro area lakes.
Those bodies of water include Bass Lake in St. Louis Park and Bde Maka Ska and Lake Harriet in Minneapolis.
The news release says that at least $1 million of the settlement will be used to fund projects that are meant to improve water quality, fisheries and opportunities for outdoor recreation.
The funds will be managed by the MPCA and DNR. The organizations say they will “connect with community partners for project ideas” when Douglas Corp. completes payments to the state in early autumn this year.
The area eligible for projects is east of Highway 169 within the lower watershed of Minnehaha Creek, including but not limited to the affected lakes, the release states.
Water quality is improving, but Bde Maka Ska and Lake Harriet are still on the state’s impaired waters list. The news release states that PFOS in largemouth bass from Bde Maka Ska fell about 90% between 2008 and 2021. The Minnesota Department of Health still recommends limiting how much fish is consumed from these lakes because of remaining PFOS. More information can be found at the MDH Fish Consumption webpage.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reached out to Douglas Corp for a response to the settlement but has not yet heard back.
Copies of the full settlement agreement and the 2016 schedule of compliance can be viewed below.
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