On May 24, 2023, Minnesota’s Governor signed into law a sweeping set of statutory provisions concerning the handling and sale of PFAS-containing products within Minnesota. Among other things, the statute sets a ban on various categories of products containing PFAS, imposes reporting requirements for manufacturers, and directs the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (“MPCA”) to adopt PFAS regulatory standards for water quality by July 2026.
Similar to Maine’s law, which we discussed here and here, Minnesota’s statute includes a total ban applicable to all products that contain intentionally added PFAS, effective January 1, 2032, and a reporting requirement, which is set to go into effect January 1, 2026. Certain categories of products with intentionally added PFAS will be subject to a sales ban starting January 1, 2025 – these categories include carpets or rugs, cookware, cleaning products, cosmetics, dental floss, fabric treatments, juvenile products, menstruation products, textile furnishings, ski wax, and upholstered furniture, and the law allows the Commissioner of the MPCA to promulgate rules that ban additional categories of products that contain intentionally added PFAS effective between January 1, 2025 and January 1, 2032. The ban on all sales of products that contain intentionally added PFAS effective January 1, 2032 will nevertheless include an exemption for “a currently unavoidable use” (defined the same way as Maine: “essential for health, safety, or the functioning of society and for which alternatives are not reasonably available”) and for certain pesticides, fertilizers, and agricultural products.
The law also addresses a more specialized category of PFAS uses, class B firefighting foam. The law immediately bars the sale and use in state, by any person, political subdivision, or state agency, of class B firefighting foams containing PFAS, unless the inclusion of PFAS in the foam is required by federal law, or the foam is for purposes of use at an airport (subject to state fire marshal determination as to commercial availability of substitute fluorine-free foams and necessary approvals from the FAA for use of fluorine-free foams). The law also imposes limitations on discharges of exempted foams for testing and training purposes, to require appropriate containment, treatment, and disposal measures to prevent such discharges from reaching the environment.
In addition, the statute requires the MPCA to adopt rules establishing water quality standards for six PFAS chemicals, namely PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, GenX, PFHxS and PFBS, by July 1, 2026. Minnesota already has targeted, site-specific water quality criteria for the same six chemicals in surface water, but they are applicable only to certain specified waterbodies; the statute requires that statewide standards be set. Further, MPCA must amend the health risk limit for PFOS to 15 parts per trillion or lower.
As enacted, the law also contains a provision that establishes a “work group to review options for collecting a fee from manufacturers of PFAS in the state.”
With the enactment of these statutory provisions, Minnesota appears intent on taking a robust approach to the regulation of PFAS within the state. Manufacturers and companies selling PFAS-containing products into Minnesota, and entities currently discharging or emitting PFAS to the environment within the state, should begin to consider preparations for the statute’s key deadlines.