Read the full article by Jon Hurdle (NJ Spotlight News)

“A local battle against toxic chemicals polluting water, soil and air in parts of South Jersey is going to federal court, as multiple lawsuits are being prepared alleging that chemicals emitted by two industrial plants caused birth defects, cancers and other illnesses in dozens of people.

Four of the suits against a total of five companies have been filed in federal court for the District of New Jersey over the last year, and ‘dozens’ more are expected soon, said a lawyer for the plaintiffs.

‘You really have a witches’ brew exposing a population for years and decades. It’s a public health catastrophe,’ said attorney Steven Phillips in an interview with NJ Spotlight News.

The plaintiffs are families in Carneys Point, Pennsville, Pedricktown, and nearby in Salem County who have claimed that their illnesses are the result of environmental contamination from the plants that include heavy metals like arsenic, lead and mercury, and solvents like benzene and toluene. Targeted too are PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) also known as ‘forever chemicals,’ which are linked to a range of serious illnesses and are increasingly subject to state oversight.

Salem and Gloucester counties

The defendants are DuPont, which operated the Chambers Works plant at Carneys Point in Salem County from 1891 to 2015; Chemours, a DuPont spinoff which took over the plant in 2015; Solvay, a Belgium-based chemical company whose New Jersey plant is at West Deptford in Gloucester County; Arkema, its predecessor at that site; and Minnesota-based 3M, a leading manufacturer of PFAS chemicals that are among those blamed for the contamination.

All five defendants are accused of making, using and disposing of PFAS chemicals and of being responsible for their contamination of air, water and soil around the Carneys Point and West Deptford plants. Lawyers for the defendants have denied the claims and said the companies are not liable…”