Read the full article by Joe Ferguson

“The Tucson City Council is looking to take Minnesota-based manufacturing giant 3M to court over the toxic chemicals that have been found in dangerous concentrations in water wells north of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

The chemicals, known as PFOS and PFOA, have been commonly used in manufacturing Teflon, carpets, clothing and stain-resistant fabrics for furniture, and as part of a firefighting foam at Air Force bases.

D-M, like other bases around the country, used these compounds in firefighting foam for more than four decades — from 1971 until last year.

The substances have been linked in studies to some forms of developmental and reproductive problems, and to testicular and kidney cancer…

The council on Wednesday unanimously voted to direct City Attorney Mike Rankin to hire an outside firm to take legal action against chemical giant 3M and other unnamed manufacturers of PFOS and PFOA.

The city would be asking for millions in damages to clean up the two wells that have already been shut off, but an exact figure is not known.

It is unclear how much it would cost to clean the groundwater and soil to safe levels.

In the city well samples taken last October and in March 2018, levels of the compounds ranged from 97 parts per trillion to 3,320 parts per trillion. That compares with an Environmental Protection Agency health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion.

Councilman Steve Kozachik said 3M recently settled with the state of Minnesota over the same issue, agreeing to give the state $850 million to fix water-quality issues caused by the dangerous chemical.

In a series of documents made public as a part of the legal proceedings, Kozachik said 3M knew that the particular components posed serious health risks…

Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said the city was able to close the wells, which were rarely used, and there is no evidence that anyone was impacted by the polluted wells.

The nature of the looming legal fight is not a personal injury lawsuit, he said, but a fight to get the companies to pay for the construction of a regional water treatment plant to remove the toxic chemicals and new wells to offset the city’s capacity to produce clean potable water.”