Settlement reached with 3M, City of Bemidji

The Bemidji City Council approved an agreement with 3M after a closed meeting last night.

According to a release from City Manager Nate Mathews, 3M has been working with the council over several months and will contribute $12.5 million to support the construction and operation of the water treatment system, built to remove 3M-manufactured PFAs out of the city’s water system.

Over the past five years, the city has worked to analyze the presence of these “forever chemicals” in the city’s drinking water.

The city began construction of the $16 million water treatment plant, and received over $10 million in bonding dollars from the state.

The use of a firefighting foam at the Bemidji Regional Airport decades ago is believed to be the source of the contamination of Bemidji’s wellfields.

Mathews says the agreement “provides a durable funding mechanism for completion and operation of its treatment system without passing on additional costs to residents.”


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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