“New York, NY – June 20, 2018 – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood today announced that the state has filed a lawsuit against six companies that manufactured aqueous film-forming foam containing the chemicals perfluorooctane sulfonic acid/perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and/or perfluorooctanoic acid/perfluorooctanoate (PFOA). PFOS and PFOA contamination resulting from these firefighting foams has been found at locations across New York, including Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh and Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Southampton. The lawsuit seeks to hold the companies accountable and recover state costs and natural resource damages associated with PFOS/PFOA contamination at several sites and is the latest step in New York’s ongoing efforts to tackle emerging contaminants.
‘As state experts continue to investigate contamination caused by firefighting foams, New York is working to end the dangerous practices that threaten our natural resources,’ Governor Cuomo said. ‘By taking necessary legal action against these companies, we are sending a clear message that we will do everything in our power to protect New Yorkers.’
‘The conduct of these manufacturers caused widespread contamination of our drinking water and our environment – and jeopardized the health of tens of thousands of New Yorkers,’ Attorney General Underwood said. ‘My office will hold these companies accountable for endangering the health of New Yorkers, including forcing them to fully repay the state for cleaning up the toxic mess they created.’
Defendants in the suit include 3M Company, Tyco Fire Products LP, Chemguard, Inc., Buckeye Fire Equipment Company, National Foam, Inc., and Kidde-Fenwal, Inc.
The state’s suit claims that aqueous film-forming foam manufacturers knew, or should have known, that their products containing PFOA and/or PFOS, when used as intended, would likely injure and/or threaten public health and the environment. The suit claims that these products have caused a public nuisance by threatening public health, contaminating the environment, damaging natural resources, and interfering with the public’s use and enjoyment of these resources. The suit also claims that these products were not reasonably safe when used as intended, and that the manufacturers failed to provide warnings about the potential dangers of these products, and failed to provide instructions or other information that could have prevented or minimized these dangers. In addition, the suit claims that the manufacturers must be held responsible for the harms that have resulted and continue to result from the release of their products…
In January 2016, in the absence of federal regulation, New York became the first state in the nation to regulate PFOA as a hazardous substance, followed by the regulation of PFOS in April 2016. These regulations require the proper storage of these substances and enable the state to use its legal authority and resources of the State Superfund to advance investigations and cleanups of impacted sites. The Final Rule for PFOA and PFOS became effective on March 3, 2017. By finalizing the regulations, the state has solidified its authority to hold polluters accountable – and take action when they refuse -whenever PFOA and PFOS contamination is found.
The State Department of Environmental Conservation and State Department of Health have spent more than $38 million to date to investigate and clean up contamination resulting from the use of aqueous film-forming foam at several locations, and the state continues to expend significant resources in its ongoing efforts to address PFOA and PFOS contamination and provide communities with access to safe drinking water.”
Read the full article by Long Island News & PR