Three major chemical companies, Dupont, Chemours and Corteva, reached a $1.18 billion deal to avoid having a judge decide whether they contaminated US drinking water systems with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a family of more than 12,000 chemicals used in firefighting forms and non-stick products. PFAS can be found in thousands of public drinking systems as 83 percent of US waterway samples that were tested last year came back positive, and 97 percent of those living in the US have some amount of PFAS in their blood. PFAS exposure is linked to a variety of health impacts including increased risk of kidney or testicular cancer.
Meanwhile, chemical giant 3M is facing a similar suit brought by the city of Stuart, Florida, which Gary Douglas, the lead trial counsel representing the city, told the Hill intends to “prove that 3M is responsible for the contamination of virtually the entire planet, including the water in Stuart and that they withheld information from the public and from the EPA.” Cutting PFAS levels in drinking water will likely require municipalities to invest millions and budget for ongoing maintenance costs. (Grist, Axios, AP, The Hill)