$10 Billion Pollution Settlement Reached by 3M with US Cities

3M, a multinational conglomerate, has reached a tentative $10 billion pollution settlement with several US cities over alleged contamination caused by its manufacture and disposal of “forever chemicals”. Bloomberg reported the news on Wednesday, and the settlement is said to cover damages caused by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in water supplies and other sources.

This is the latest in a string of legal cases against 3M and other chemical firms, which have been accused of contaminating water supplies with PFAS, a group of chemicals found in many everyday products. The settlement with 3M and other companies was reached after a year-long legal battle involving multiple US states.

According to The Guardian, top US chemical companies – including DuPont, Chemours and Corteva – have also agreed to pay $1.2 billion in settlements related to PFAS contamination in water. These settlements will go towards compensating individuals and communities affected by the pollution.

The contamination of water supplies with PFAS has sparked widespread concern in the US, with some experts warning that exposure to the chemicals could have serious health effects. Although 3M phased out production of PFAS chemicals in the early 2000s, they remain widespread in US water supplies, and concerns about their impact on human health have grown in recent years.

The settlements reached by 3M and other chemical firms represent a significant step towards addressing the environmental and health impact of PFAS contamination in the US, but the wider issue of chemical pollution and its long-term consequences remains a major challenge.