California is asking 3M Co., DuPont de Nemours Inc., and suing other chemical companies for “significant” water pollution caused by products made with “forever chemicals” that cannot be removed once they accumulate in the soil.
It is the latest in a crackdown by cities and states that over the years have sued more than a dozen manufacturers and sellers of products such as firefighting foams used by the military and first responders that contain certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, collectively known as PFAS.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a lawsuit on Thursday, claiming that the companies knew or should have known about the toxic effects of PFAS and concealed the “harmful” effects on the environment and public health.
“This is a very unique case because it’s statewide, the first of its kind, obviously in the largest state in the nation, the fourth largest economy in the world, and it’s seeking statewide assistance,” the Democrat said in a press release. a conference “There is no other case like this in the United States.” The lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court filed a lawsuit against 18 companies, seeking damages and the state’s treatment and removal of PFAS, including in drinking water and irrigation systems. Bonta estimates the damage at hundreds of millions of dollars.
DuPont “was founded in 2019 as a new specialty products company” that has never produced PFOA, PFOS, or firefighting foam, a company spokesman said.
“While we do not comment on pending litigation, we believe these complaints are without merit and are the latest example of DuPont de Nemours being misnamed in a lawsuit,” a spokesperson said. “We look forward to defending our safety, health, and environmental records.”
3M said in a statement that it “handles products containing PFAS responsibly and defends its environmental protection standards.” According to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Holly Froum,3M faces more than 2,000 lawsuits from individuals, water bodies, states, and cities over contamination caused by PFAS chemicals, which could cost $30 billion, including salvage costs.
Wisconsin and North Carolina are among the states that have sued 3M, DuPont, and others over PFAS contamination linked to certain bodies of water or products. According to a statement from Bonta’s office, nearly Six public water systems serving 16 million Californians and waters that supply millions of residents contain PFAS. The lawsuit stems from a years-long investigation that found PFAS manufacturers knowingly violated consumer and environmental protection laws, the agency said.
“As a result of a decades-long campaign of deception, PFASs are in our water, clothes, houses, and even our bodies,” Bonta said in our statement. “The damage caused by 3M, DuPont, and other PFAS manufacturers is staggering, and without drastic action, California will be dealing with generations of damage from these toxic chemicals.”