ST. CLOUD -- Water samples will be taken from Stearns County's groundwater and surface water next spring for testing.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is expanding its search for PFAS.  The industrial chemicals, sometimes called "forever chemicals" can get into groundwater and surface water and create an environmental threat.

The MPCA randomly chose four counties across the state to search for traces of the industrial chemicals. Previously, the agency focused its efforts in the Twin Cities metro area.

Andri Dahlmeier is a Superfund Project Manager for the MPCA's Remediation Division. She says if they find the chemicals in Stearns, St. Louis, Olmsted and Dakota counties they may expand the research statewide.

PFAS are chemicals used in industries like commercial printing, waterproofing, metal plating shops, and commercial cleaning.

Dahlmeier says the research project is not aimed at targeting any company or industry, but rather gather data to see how widespread the presence of forever chemicals are in our water and wildlife.

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