(The Center Square) – Tennessee is suing companies such as 3M, DuPont and Chemours stating that the companies knowingly distributed forever chemicals that are damaging to the environment and water supply in Tennessee.
The lawsuit against 20 manufacturers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances includes aqueous film-forming foam allegations related to the material used in firefighter training and emergency response at airports, military and industrial facilities.
“PFAS are ‘forever chemicals’ that are accumulating in our bodies and our kids’ bodies,” said Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti. “Manufacturers continued to produce and profit from these chemicals long after they were aware of the dangers. We will hold them accountable. We will fight to obtain serious compensation from every one of these defendants to ensure we can clean up our environment and stop the harms associated with PFAS.”
The companies recently reached both a $12.5 billion nationwide class settlement with public water systems and a separate nearly $1.2 billion settlement with local drinking water suppliers in a multi-district litigation in federal court in South Carolina.
The Tennessee lawsuit is related to releasing the PFAS chemicals into the environment and the lawsuit also alleges that the companies then fraudulently transferred assets to avoid PFAS liability. Tennessee is asking for injunctive and monetary relief.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency has said that exposure to PFAS can increase risk of cancer along with leading to decreased fertility, pregnancy complications and adverse developmental effects.
“Tennessee has an abundance of natural resources that support community health and prosperity,” David Salyers, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said. “This litigation helps to ensure that Tennessee residents have a cleaner and safer environment.”