3M Announces Settlement with Alabama City Over PFAS Claims

According to a Tuesday press release, multinational conglomerate 3M has reached a settlement with the city of Decatur, Ala. in connection with litigation over per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

The settlement will resolve both state court litigation and a federal suit brought by Tennessee Riverkeeper. The federal case alleged that 3M improperly disposed of industrial byproducts “resulting in the contamination of groundwater, sediments, private water supplies, the Tennessee River and its tributaries, fish, and public drinking water supplies that utilize water from the Tennessee River.”

Under the agreement, the press release said, 3M will contribute nearly $100 million to the City. This will include investments into city infrastructure, such as a new recreational facility, as well as “addressing legacy production” of PFAS. To resolve the claims from Tennessee Riverkeeper, the company ” will continue environmental characterization” including sample testing, reporting on the findings, and support of any remedial action.

Riverkeeper’s original complaint, filed in 2016, sought an injunction against the company to prevent them from disposing of any waste involving the chemicals at issue, and an order requiring them to remediate soil contamination at the affected facility as well as within the sediment in the Tennessee River.