Cops, Courts and Fire Government

Attorney General Files Lawsuit Due To Chemical Contamination In Bucks County & Elsewhere

The lawsuit specifically mentions PFAS-contamination in Bucks County.

Attorney General Michelle Henry speaking this year.
Credit: PA Internet News Service

Pennsylvania is suing chemical companies DuPont, Chemours, and Corteva for their continued manufacturing and distribution of products containing “forever chemicals,” which authorities have said have contaminated local waters.

Attorney General Michelle Henry announced Friday that the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office filed the complaint because chemicals – per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS – have been proven to be harmful to the environment, animals, and increase the risk of disease. Specifically, they have been linked to various health effects, including thyroid disease, compromised immune system function, reduced fetal growth, and increased risks of certain forms of cancer, while also having a slow breakdown rate.

The complaint focuses on the significant environmental damages caused by the three companies due to the presence of PFAS chemicals. The chemicals and contamination can be caused by products such as AFFF, a foam substance commonly used by firefighters during training exercises, according to a news release.

The state’s law enforcement official alleges that DuPont, Chemours, and Corteva have violated the state’s Consumer Protection Law by knowingly manufacturing and distributing products that pose dangers to humans, animals, and the environment.

The lawsuit specifically mentions PFAS-contamination in the Neshaminy Creek, which has led to a state advisory that people not eat fish caught in it.

The lawsuit notes the state has paid $689,174 to mitigate ongoing contamination at the site of a 1986 tire fire location in East and West Rockhill townships in Upper Bucks County. Additionally, the state has already spent $94,980 on cleanup of contamination in Doylestown, Plumstead, and Buckingham townships in Central Bucks County.

In a statement, the attorney general pointed to the long-standing knowledge these companies have had regarding the harmful effects of their products.

“For decades, these companies have been aware of the dangers and damages that these products can inflict on humans, animals, and our natural resources. Pennsylvanians have the right to breathe clean air and drink clean water. This civil action seeks to recover the costs associated with cleaning up these harmful chemicals, as well as imposing penalties on companies that have turned a blind eye,” Henry said.

In a move to protect the well-being of Pennsylvanians and the state’s natural resources, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office lodged the complaint in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. The complaint seeks restitution, civil penalties, and other costs yet to be determined.

In a move earlier this year, Henry led a coalition of 17 attorneys general in urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to include PFAS on the national list of Chemicals of Special Concern.

Last year, Bucks County government and the District Attorney Matt Weintraub filed a lawsuit against several chemical manufacturers over water and soil contamination due to PFAS chemicals.

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