National settlement of up to $10.3 billion could help Emmaus Treat water for PFAS chemicals.
The funding will come from manufacturing company 3M, according to the company. news release, must be paid over 13 years. The company manufactures firefighting foam, which contained chemicals associated with PFAS contamination of wells in the district and across the country.
The settlement will provide funding to public water suppliers around the country that have or will have PFAS chemicals detected in their drinking water, like Emmaus.
The company said in a release that this was not an admission of liability and that “3M remains prepared to defend itself in litigation” if the proposed settlement is not approved by the court.
company previously announced PFAS use will be phased out by the end of 2025.
PFAS (perfluoroalkyl substances) are part of a group of chemicals that includes perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonates (PFOS).
They are known as “eternal chemicals” because they do not break down and can accumulate in humans, animals and the environment. Exposure is associated with health problems such as increased cancer risk and decreased fertility.
Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against 3M and other chemical manufacturers over PFAS contamination in water and soil. early this monthChemours, DuPont and Corteva announced that they have reached an agreement to create a $1.19 billion fund to help resolve the issue.
Emmaus borough manager Shane Pepe said it was unclear when and how much money the borough would receive, but said the money would be used to treat the water system.
“It sounds like a lot of money, but in reality thousands of municipalities across the country are affected by this,” he said. “So how much money does it actually cost?”
The manager added that he expects other manufacturers to follow suit and settle down like 3M.
“They should be held accountable for what they did,” Pepe said.
Of the five wells in Emmaus, two near the Emmaus Fire Department training facility were contaminated with chemicals from firefighting foam, state and federal officials said.
Testing in October 2021 showed elevated levels of PFOA and PFOS above the EPA exposure threshold of 70 ppt. One well recorded levels 10 times higher in tests conducted by the Borough, but a lower level (456ppm) in tests conducted by the State Environmental Protection Agency. Another was recorded at 111 ppt.
The EPA has since recommended limiting PFAS chemicals in drinking water to the single digits per trillion.
https://www.mcall.com/2023/06/29/emmaus-could-benefit-from-10-billion-pfas-settlement-from-3m-heres-how/ Emmaus could benefit from $10 billion 3M settlement