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Environment

States sue over PFOA

by Marc S. Reisch
February 19, 2018 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 96, ISSUE 8

The state of Ohio filed a lawsuit charging that DuPont released the fluorosurfactant perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) into the Ohio River for decades even though it knew it could cause harm. The suit, filed in Ohio state court on Feb. 8, also names Chemours, which now operates the Parkersburg, W.Va., plant where PFOA was used. Ohio seeks investigation and cleanup costs. Meanwhile, the State of Minnesota plans to press its suit against 3M for polluting drinking water with PFOA from its plant in Cottage Grove, 16 km south of St. Paul. The trial gets under way in state court on Feb. 20. Minnesota seeks billions of dollars for damages to human health, wildlife, and property. PFOA and other fluorochemicals are already the subject of much legal dispute. In February 2017, DuPont and Chemours agreed to pay $670 million to Ohio and West Virginia residents who say they were sickened by PFOA-contaminated water. Earlier this month, lawyers in North Carolina filed a class-action suit against the two firms for polluting drinking water with fluorochemicals. Separately, the American Chemistry Council, a trade association, says it is forming an advocacy panel to “promote sound science” regarding PFOA toxicity.

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