PFAS producer 3M recently agreed to pay $10.3 billion over thirteen years to clean up PFAS detected in water systems.
Coming off the heels of the $1.18 billion dollar settlement from DuPont de Nemours Inc. and two of its spin-offs, chemical giant 3M has reached a similar settlement and has agreed to pay $10.3 billion over thirteen years. The money will be made available to public water suppliers that have detected PFAS. The funds can be used toward testing and remediation.
Both settlements from DuPont and 3M follow litigation from the Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown, other state AGs, local governments, and private water system operators in two lawsuits claiming that 3M, DuPont, and others caused PFAS contamination of the State’s environment through multiple pathways and put Maryland residents’ health at risk. The two complaints sought to recover damages and costs related to the investigation, cleanup, restoration, and treatment of its natural resources from PFAS contamination. Both Baltimore City and Prince George’s County are involved in similar litigation.
Background on PFAS
PFAS or per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), i.e. “forever chemicals,” were at one time widely used in firefighting foam and nonstick surfaces. In recent years, research has come to light indicating that these chemicals have serious negative health effects. Unlike other chemicals, PFAS takes longer to naturally break down and therefore remains in the environment for years. Today almost all people have PFAS within their blood and body. In March, the EPA, for the first time, proposed national PFAS standards for drinking water.