Four More States File PFAS Pollution Lawsuits
2023 has proven to be an extremely busy year for states filing PFAS lawsuits seeking environmental pollution remediation costs from PFAS manufacturers and AFFF manufacturers. Illinois (February), Maine (April), Kentucky (April), and Rhode Island (May) were the latest states seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in PFAS costs. The last week of May saw a surge in the number of state cases filed, as Arizona, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington joined the fray for states seeking PFAS remediation costs. While the lawsuits target a narrowly tailored set of companies, lawsuits in other states have already demonstrated that downstream commerce corporations are at risk of being involved in lawsuits seeking hundreds of millions of dollars.
New PFAS Lawsuits
The Arizona, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington Attorney Generals filed lawsuits seeking PFAS remediation costs from various PFAS and AFFF manufacturers. The lawsuits specifically targets companies that manufactured PFAS and AFFF products, with the lawsuits alleging that the AFFF products have cause considerable damage to the environment in the states.
Maine is seeking costs related to investigating, cleaning up, restoring, treating, monitoring and “otherwise responding” to the contamination of the state’s groundwater, surface water, soil and other natural resources.
Implications For Downstream Manufacturers
While the latest state PFAS lawsuits target PFAS manufacturers, companies should not dismiss the lawsuits as events unlikely to impact them in any way. On the contrary, in other states, including California, companies have been directly named as defendants in lawsuits seeking billions of dollars in PFAS remediation costs. Corporations should not ignore the pollution and environmental contamination issues that PFAS pose, as states, federal and state regulatory agencies, and even private citizens are actively seeking damages from companies that they believe placed PFAS into the environment. All companies of all types would be well advised to conduct a complete compliance audit to best understand areas of concern for PFAS liability issues, and ways to mitigate PFAS concerns.