Read the full article by Jeannette Hinkle (Cod Cape Times)
“Nantucket Memorial Airport, which is now paying to clean nearby drinking water contaminated by its decades of using PFAS-containing firefighting foam, has filed a lawsuit against the constellation of high-profile global companies that made and sold the products.
The lawsuit was filed Aug. 31 by the New York-based firm Napoli Shkolnik in the Massachusetts Superior Court of Nantucket County on behalf of the Nantucket Memorial Airport Commission. The suit names dozens of defendants, including 3M, DuPont, Chemguard Inc., Tyco and a slew of ‘Doe’ defendants that have yet to be identified. Some of the defendants, including DuPont, are among the most profitable chemical companies in the world.
‘These companies were aware of the negative impacts of these chemicals for decades and decades and continued to produce them,’ Hank Naughton, an attorney with Napoli Shkolnik, said Tuesday. ‘If it’s in your water, it came from one of these companies.’
In addition to monetary damages for past, present and future costs related to PFAS contamination, the airport commission is seeking a declaration that the companies named in the lawsuit acted with ‘negligence, gross negligence, and/or willful, wanton, and careless disregard’ for health, safety and property.
The Nantucket airport is one of thousands of entities nationwide now seeking compensation from chemical companies for the cost of remediating drinking water contamination caused by PFAS-containing firefighting foam — which was used during fire training and equipment maintenance exercises mandated by the federal government.
The airport has already encumbered more than $5 million in PFAS-related costs.
The airport’s lawsuit could be among the first in a new wave of lawsuits by Massachusetts plaintiffs now coping with PFAS contamination, according to Naughton.
Massachusetts is one of only a few states that have set drinking water standards for PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a class of thousands of human-made compounds that are linked to health problems ranging from cancer to immune system problems.
As the Massachusetts standard goes into full effect — PFAS sampling will be required of smaller water systems Oct. 1 — water suppliers will have to pay to remediate the contamination to bring water systems into compliance.
Naughton said he thinks many will now want compensation from the companies that made and sold PFAS-containing products without warning consumers and governments about the risks they posed to human health and the environment.”…