Read the full article by London Bishop and Nick Blizzard (Dayton Daily News)
“The city of Bellbrook has followed one other Dayton-area city in filing suit against more than 30 businesses, many of which are chemical manufacturers, alleging PFAS contamination of its water sources.
Bellbrook is seeking damages for the remediation, treatment, and monitoring of ‘ongoing contamination of its water resources,’ per the filing, alleging that ‘actions and/or inactions’ of the defendants have led to harmful, so-called ‘forever chemicals’ being released into the city’s groundwater.
Defendants named in the suit include 3M, BASF, Chemours, E.I. Dupont, Johnson Controls, Raytheon Technologies and 26 others.
The suit, filed in Greene County Common Pleas Court on Oct. 28, is part of a federal class-action case that more than 230 cities are party to, including Fairborn. Fairborn filed a similar suit in July, and both cases were transferred to the U. S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, according to federal court records.
‘It appears that the action(s) on this conditional transfer order involve questions of fact that are common to the actions previously transferred to the District of South Carolina,’ an Aug. 22 federal filing states.
In December 2018, 75 civil cases were sent to the South Carolina U.S. District court ‘for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings,’ federal records show.
Those cases have been assigned to Judge Richard M. Gergel. The last filing in the Fairborn case was Sept. 20, according to South Carolina records.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are toxic, persistent, man-made substances that have been linked to a host of ailments, including cancer, pregnancy defects, liver and immune problems, said Tasha Stoiber, a senior scientist at Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group. The chemicals have been found in firefighting foam, as well as consumer products labeled ‘non-stick,’ or ‘stain-repellent.’
Bellbrook supplies water to residents of the city as well as parts of Sugarcreek Twp. Six out of seven Bellbrook water wells have detectable amounts of PFAS, said city councilman Forrest Greenwood.
‘We’re on top of this,’ Greenwood said. ‘If you don’t test, you don’t know.’
Bellbrook’s water is monitored, tested and treated before being pushed out to customers, said City Manager Rob Schommer, and so Bellbrook residents shouldn’t be alarmed about PFAS in their drinking water, for that reason. However, the city wouldn’t have to guard against the chemical if it was never introduced to the water system and kept in the water system to begin with.” …