NH Attorney General files suit against 3M, DuPont, Chemours "to address widespread contamination"

NH ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNOUNCES LAWSUIT AGAINST 8 PFAS FOAM MANUFACTURERS

PORTSMOUTH, NH - Today, NH Attorney General Gordon MacDonald, announced in a 40-page document that he has filed a lawsuits against 3M, DuPont and Chemours, manufacturers of perfluorinated chemicals (PFAS or PFCs) on behalf of NH communities facing drinking water contamination at a press conference this morning in Concord. The lawsuits seek to recover costs for damages, cleanup, and other forms of response to the state's drinking water and natural resources contamination. It is estimated that the suit could result in payments of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The state of NH was successful in a similar lawsuit relating to a gasoline additive which resulted in payouts of up to approximately $388M and is being used to fund drinking water projects across the state.

This is a positive step in addressing the drinking water crisis in NH. Polluters must be held accountable for the damages associated with public health impacts from exposures to these chemicals in our drinking water. We congratulate the NH Attorney General for taking this step and look forward to continuing to work with the legislature and the NHDES to enact stricter protections on our drinking water and prevent and remediate natural resources damages.

Currently, the NHDES is engaged in rulemaking relating to safer levels of these chemicals in our drinking water in response to my bill, SB-309, that was signed into law in June 2018. Myself and other stakeholders have been pushing for lower standards than the NHDES originally proposed. We are hopeful that this development will help address concerns weighing costs of enacting stricter standards to prevent chronic disease and cancer.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), NH has the highest rates of bladder, breast, esophageal, and pediatric cancer in the nation.

Mindi Messmer