County board OKs PFC study

NEW ULM — The Brown County Board of Commissioners approved a study and plan development by GEI Consultants at the Brown County Sanitary Landfill.

After a dramatic decrease in the allowed concentration for perflourinated compounds (PFCs) by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), a study on the landfill to determine PFC presence is necessary before new expansions can be made or used.

“PFCs are a man-made product which is used to do stain resistance on fabric,” GEI Vice President Mike Ruetten said. “It was teflon-related and stuff like that. It is in thousands of products these days.”

The approval addresses two tasks GEI will perform, meeting and conference calls with MPCA and a nature and extent plan.

The tasks are estimated to cost $29,500, according to a letter from GEI to the commissioners. GEI anticipates three conference calls and one face-to-face meeting with MPCA to determine specific PFC concerns at the landfill.

The nature and extent plan will be a study of local geology to determine the flow of leachate, waste water that filters through solids, which could carry PFCs to groundwater.

The commissioners also heard from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) about its 10-year construction plan for District Seven.

In Brown County, between 2018 and 2021, MnDOT will be:

• Constructing a roundabout at the Highway 4 and CSAH 29 junction, performing a concrete grind and bituminous overlay and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance work in Sleepy Eye and replacing bridges 9200 and 9294 over the Minnesota River on Highway 14 and 15 in 2018.

• Replacing the signal system at the intersections of Highway 14 and 16th North Street and the intersection of Highway 14 and North Garden Street and replacing a curb ramp ant the northwest section of Highway 15 and 19th Street South in 2021.

All projects are subject to funding limitations, especially projects slated for later years. After 2021, MnDOT is also shifting its priorities.

“We are going into a preservation mode,” District Planner Lisa Bigham said. “We need to stick with preserving our roadways, the pavement condition, rather than doing interchanges, four-laning and that kind of stuff.”

Between 2018 and 2037 the State Highway Investment Plan estimates needing $39 billion to preserve roads, however, it only anticipates $21 billion in revenue.

In Brown County, 2022 through 2027 projects include:

A bridge on Highway 4, south of Sleepy Eye in 2022, the surface of Highway 14 between Springfield and the intersection of Highway 71 in 2023 and the surface of Highway 4 from Sleepy Eye south in 2024.

Connor Cummiskey can be emailed at