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3 Chemical Companies to Pay Over $1 Billion for PFAS in US Waterways

Article-3 Chemical Companies to Pay Over $1 Billion for PFAS in US Waterways

Image courtesy of tzahiV / iStock / Getty Images Plus chemical companies pay for PFAS in water
The three big chemical companies will contribute $1.185 billion for PFAS in waterways across the US.
This includes water systems with current detection of PFAS and those required to monitor for the presence of PFAS under EPA or other applicable laws.

The Chemours Company, DuPont, and Corteva have agreed to resolve all PFAS-related drinking water claims of a defined class of public water systems that serve the majority of the US population.

The class includes water systems with a current detection of PFAS1 at any level and those currently required to monitor for the presence of PFAS under EPA monitoring rules2 or other applicable laws. This includes but is not limited to systems in the South Carolina aqueous film-forming foam multi-district litigation (“AFFF MDL”).

The companies will together contribute $1.185 billion to a settlement fund (“water district settlement fund”). Contribution rates will be consistent with the binding MOU between the companies reached in January 2021, with Chemours contributing 50% (about $592 million), and DuPont (about $400 million) and Corteva (about $193 million) together contributing the remaining 50%. The settlement amounts will be funded by the companies in full and deposited into the water district settlement fund within 10 business days following preliminary approval of the settlement by the Court.

Upon finalization of a definitive agreement, expected within second quarter 2023, the settlement will be subject to approval by the US District Court for the District of South Carolina. As part of the approval process, the Court will establish a timetable for notice to class members, hearings on approval, and for class members to opt out of the settlement. The companies will have the right to terminate the settlement if opt-outs exceed specified levels.

The following systems are excluded from the settlement class: water systems owned and operated by a State or the US government; small systems that have not detected the presence of PFAS and are not currently required to monitor for it under federal or state requirements; and water systems in the lower Cape Fear River Basin of North Carolina (which are included only if they so request).

If a settlement cannot be finalized and approved and plaintiffs elect to pursue their claims in court, the companies will continue to assert their strong legal defenses in pending litigation. The companies deny the allegations in the underlying litigation and reserve all legal and factual defenses against such claims if they were litigated to conclusion.

Additional information in the form of a question and answer addendum is located on the respective investors section of Chemours', DuPont's. and Corteva's websites.

1 PFAS, as defined in this settlement, includes PFOA and HFPO-DA among a broad range of fluorinated organic substances.

2 The class is composed of all Public Water Systems, as defined in 42 U.S.C § 300f, with a current detection of PFAS or that are currently required to monitor for PFAS under the EPA’s Fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (“UCMR 5”) or other applicable federal or state law. Approximately 88 percent of the U.S. is served by systems required to test under UCMR 5.

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