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Dedham-Westwood Water District Files a Lawsuit Against 3M, DuPont, and Others Over PFAS Contamination

Dedham, MA – Today, the Dedham-Westwood Water District announced the filing of a lawsuit against 3M Company, E.I. DuPont de Nemours, Inc., and other manufacturers of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) for their involvement in the manufacture and sale of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) that have contaminated groundwater supplies within the District’s service area.

PFAS have been used for decades in AFFF, certain industrial processes, and in the production of thousands of common household and commercial products that are heat resistant, stain resistant, long-lasting, and water and oil repellant. The PFAS family of chemicals are entirely man-made and does not exist in nature.

Monthly testing results have detected PFAS in our water sources. Currently, the District’s PFAS levels comply with the State’s regulatory standard (below 20 parts per trillion on a quarterly basis).

“We are proactively filing this lawsuit to protect our ratepayers,” said Executive Director Blake Lukis. “The District wants to ensure that any costs of cleaning up these contaminants are borne by 3M, DuPont, and the other companies that sold and profited from their products containing PFAS.”

PFAS are persistent toxic chemicals that bioaccumulate when released into the environment. Exposure to certain PFAS has been associated with several negative health outcomes in both humans and animals. PFAS has impacted surface water and groundwater throughout the country resulting in hundreds of similar suits brought forward by water providers, and mostly against the same defendants, in an ongoing Multidistrict Litigation supervised by a federal judge in South Carolina.

“The manufacturers and sellers of PFAS-containing products–3M, DuPont, and other defendants–knew that these products would likely pollute groundwater, yet they failed to take reasonable and available steps to avoid the use of PFAS in products and failed to provide warnings that using these products as directed could result in groundwater contamination,” said Ken Sansone, partner at SL Environmental Law Group. “Through this lawsuit, Dedham-Westwood is asserting its rights under Massachusetts law to ensure the quality and availability of water resources to the thousands of residents and businesses who rely on those resources. The District wants to ensure that it is the corporations whose products are responsible for contaminating its water pay the substantial costs of cleaning it up.”

The District is being represented by SL Environmental Law Group, which exclusively focuses on water contamination litigation on behalf of city and state governments, public and private water utilities, and other well owners. SL Environmental Law Group has delivered over $1.2 billion from corporate polluters to their clients.

For more information about PFAS, please visit: www.dwwd.org/PFAS


Download the Announcement (PDF)

Dedham-Westwood Water District Files a Lawsuit
Against 3M, DuPont, and Others Over PFAS Contamination