Connecticut Sues 28 Firms for Alleged Contamination by ‘Forever Chemicals’ *Centurion Insurance AFS*
The state of Connecticut is suing 28 chemical manufacturers that it alleges are responsible for “knowingly contaminating” the state’s waters and natural resources and harming public health with toxic PFAS “forever chemicals.”
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong has filed two lawsuits seeking to hold the companies responsible for alleged per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemical contamination. One suit involves aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) used in firefighting, while the other involves chemicals that are used in manufacturing and added to consumer products, such as food packaging, cookware, carpeting, clothing, and cosmetics.
Connecticut’s lawsuits, filed in Superior Court Judicial District in Hartford, are among thousands that have been filed across the country in the last several years over alleged PFAS contamination. They include lawsuits by other states claiming damage to natural resources and water, water utilities seeking cleanups, individuals claiming personal injury, and consumer class actions.
Major manufacturers 3M, DuPont, Chemours and Corteva have reached settlements in some cases but thousands of suits remain in courts. A group of 22 states has opposed as inadequate the biggest of the settlements, a deal by 3M that would provide $10.3 billion over a 13-year period to cities, towns and other public water systems.
In the face of continued litigation, 3M Co. announced in late 2022 that it would stop making forever chemicals and aim to discontinue their use in products by the end of 2025.
The lawsuits contend that PFAS chemicals are toxic and have been shown to persist in the environment indefinitely. PFAS have been associated with pollution and damage as well as adverse human health effects including cancer.
The state charges that the companies knew as early as the 1950s that PFAS chemicals were toxic, highly persistent, and likely to spread to groundwater and contaminate the environment.
“These companies knew the truth decades ago, and they buried the evidence and lied to all of us. Because of that, we are dealing with widespread contamination of drinking water and natural resources across Connecticut,” claimed Tong.
Peter Brown, president of the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association, welcomed the litigation. He claimed occupational cancer is the number one killer of firefighters and exposure to PFAS chemicals is a leading factor in the increased risk
According to the state, PFAS products have contaminated several public water systems and rivers. The state has issued PFAS-related consumption advisories for fish caught throughout or in portions of the Connecticut, Farmington, Hockanum, Housatonic, Natchaug, Naugatuck, Pequabuck, Quinnipiac, Scantic, Shetucket, Still, Tankerhoosen, and Willimantic rivers.
Regarding contamination specific to AFFF firefighting foam, PFAS have been detected in private wells and the town’s water supply in Killingworth near the fire training area and fire department there. The state says other locations are known to be contaminated by AFFF products, including several schools and communities near Bradley International Airport. The state is aware of at least 200 reported emergency incidents where AFFF was likely deployed.
The complaints seek both injunctive and monetary relief, including ordering the companies to abate all PFAS pollution in Connecticut, remove and dispose of AFFF stocks in Connecticut, and release all research related to PFAS health and environmental effects, and compensatory damages related to PFAS pollution to natural resources and properties.
The state seeks to recover past and future costs related to testing and monitoring of PFAS and remediation of harm to drinking water, soil, and wildlife. The complaints further seek civil penalties of tens of thousands of dollars per day for various violations of state laws, and compensation for all expenses paid by the state in responding to PFAS pollution.
The companies named in the suit regarding chemicals used in manufacturing and consumer products include EIDP, Inc.; Dupont De Nemours, Inc.; The Chemours Company; The Chemours Company FC, LLC; Corteva, Inc.; and 3M Company.
Those named in the AFF suit include 3M Company; AGC Chemicals Americas, Inc.; Amerex Corporation; Angus Fire Armour Corporation; Archroma U.S., Inc.; Arkema Inc.; BASF Corporation; Buckeye Fire Equipment Company; Carrier Fire & Security Americas Corporation; Carrier Global Corporation; Chemdesign Products, Inc.; Chemguard, Inc.; Chemicals Incorporated; Clariant Corporation; Corteva, Inc.; Daikin America, Inc.; Deepwater Chemicals, Inc.; Dupont De Nemours, Inc.; Dynax Corporation; EIDP, Inc.; Fire Service Plus, Inc.; Kidde-Fenwal, Inc.; Nation Ford Chemical Company; National Foam, Inc.; RTX Corporation; The Chemours Company; The Chemours Company FC, LLC; and Tyco Fire Products LP.