Town hall meeting planned on Lake Calhoun contamination

Officials from both agencies will join a long roster of state and local officials at the town hall meeting, including representatives from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. State Sen. Scott Dibble and Rep. Frank Hornstein, two DFLers who represent District 60 in Southwest Minneapolis, jointly organized the meeting.

PFOS is part of the family of perfluorochemicals (PFCs), several of which have contaminated groundwater in parts of the metropolitan area.

The test results from Lake Calhoun raised concerns about the contamination of all five bodies of water in the Chain of Lakes. Lake of the Isles and Calhoun, Brownie, Cedar and Harriet lakes are all connected.

The Health Department suggests limiting consumption of bluegill sunfish from any of the lakes to one per month.

Department officials said there have been no reports of illness caused by contaminated fish, adding that consumption limits are based on the risk of long-term exposure, not a few meals. Swimming in the lakes, and even accidental ingestion of lake water, is considered safe.

3M began using PFCs in the 1950s to produce products such as Teflon and Scotchguard. The chemicals were phased out of production by 2002.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency plans to investigate possible commercial and residential sources of the PFOS found in Lake Calhoun.

The town hall meeting is 7-9 p.m. Thursday, May 10 at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, 3450 Irving Ave. S. The public is invited and will have a chance to ask questions.