Impacted water systems are not waiting on the government to address the problem. They have, instead, filed lawsuits to hold the polluters accountable. Sources of the contamination typically include industrial sites operated by corporations such as 3M and DuPont, amongst others, and military bases, airports, and fire stations that used aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) to combat fuel fires.
Settlements have recently been negotiated by some water systems. In Massachusetts, the town of Barnstable reached a $2.95 million settlement with the county, which owned and operated the Fire and Rescue Training Academy where trainees used AFFF until 2009. These funds will reimburse expenses the county incurred to install filtration systems at four public water supply wells.
An Alabama federal judge also approved a $5 million class action settlement between the West Morgan-East Lawrence water system, its customers and Daikin America. The lawsuit, filed in September 2015, also blames 3M and Dyneon for discharging PFCs upstream of WM-EL’s water intake site. Under the settlement, Daikin agreed to pay for a permanent advanced water filtration system.
Our firm, along with Roger H. Bedford of Roger Bedford & Associates, has filed lawsuits on behalf of the water systems in Gadsden and Centre, Alabama. These complaints allege that carpet and textile companies, manufacturers, and chemical suppliers located upstream in Dalton, Georgia, are responsible for contaminating the Coosa River and Weiss Lake. The lawsuits were filed to ensure that these entities, not ratepayers in Gadsden and Centre, would pay to decontaminate their drinking water.
Lawyers in the Section are investigating other PFC contamination cases. If you have any questions about this subject, contact Rhon Jones, Rick Stratton, or Ryan Kral, lawyers in the Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Rhon.Jones@beasleyallen.com, Rick.Stratton@beasleyallen.com, or Ryan.Kral@beasleyallen.com.
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