Read the full article by Mike Tony (Charleston Gazette-Mail)
“The number of states seeking to recoup damages from manufacturers of chemicals linked to cancer and other adverse health effects is growing rapidly.
At least nine states have sued makers of PFAS, chemicals that can be harmful at extremely low levels used in food packaging, waterproof clothing and other consumer products, since the start of March.
Maryland, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington each announced lawsuits against manufacturers of PFAS, an acronym for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, from May 30 through June 1, contending they were liable for environmental contamination and health risks from the chemicals.
The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet on March 31 sued chemical company DuPont and two of its spinoff companies, Chemours and Corteva, seeking to recover PFAS-related damages stemming from the Washington Works manufacturing facility outside Parkersburg in Wood County.
The state says the companies knowingly contaminated Kentucky waters for years with PFAS from Washington Works, where DuPont began using PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), one of the most common PFAS, to make Teflon-related products at the site in 1951. Chemours has owned the Washington Works site since 2015, when it was spun off from DuPont.
Twenty-three states have pursued lawsuits, most of them unresolved, against manufacturers of PFAS contending contamination of water supplies and other natural resources, according to Safer States, an alliance of environmental health organizations.
Despite its toxic PFAS legacy, West Virginia isn’t among those states.
‘The Attorney General brings actions when the facts and law support them, and when he has authority to act,’ West Virginia Attorney General’s Office Press Secretary John Mangalonzo said in an email, adding the office doesn’t discuss potential future litigation or pending matters ‘before the appropriate time.’
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey didn’t hesitate to threaten litigation after the Environmental Protection Agency released a proposed rule to strengthen fossil fuel plant carbon pollution standards last month.
The same morning as the EPA released the proposed rule, Morrisey predicted his office would prevail in court against what he called an ‘out-of-control agency’ in a statement. Morrisey reiterated his opposition to the rule proposal in an EPA public hearing on the proposal Wednesday evening, deeming it ‘likely to fail in court’ and asserting the agency had overstepped its bounds by requiring fossil fuel plants shift to lower-emitting technology by the 2030s.”…