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3M Firefighting Foam and PFAS in Water Supplies Wisconsin Class Action

The Ansul Fire Technology Center (AFTC) in Marinette, Wisconsin is used for training, testing, research, and development of fire suppressants. The complaint for this class action brings suit against the 3M Company for its aqueous film-foaming foam (AFFF) that the complaint claims has released potentially harmful chemicals into the environment which have found their way into water supplies. The chemicals include per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), for example, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) or perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).

Two classes have been defined for this action:

  • The Medical Monitoring Class is individual residents of Wisconsin who have ingested PFOS-contaminated water from their well or municipal water supplier in or around Marinette County communities and who have an accumulation of PFOS in their bodies as shown by blood serum tests or documentation of an increased opportunity for exposure.
  • The Property Damage Class is individual resident of Wisconsin who own real property in Marinette County whose private water wells have been contaminated with PFOS.

AFTC, the complaint alleges, is owned and operated at this time by Tyco Fire Products, LP. The complaint claims AFFF, which is used to put out liquid fires, has been made, tested, or used at this location since the 1960s for research, development, quality testing, and firefighting training.

In May 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced its Third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR3), under which public water systems throughout the country had to monitor their water for thirty specific contaminants, between 2013 and 2015. Among them were six perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), including PFOA and PFOS.

The EPA released the results in October 2015. They showed that water in the eight Marinette County municipal water systems were contaminated with PFOA and PFOS. This was the first notice that those communities received that their water contained what the complaint calls “the carcinogenic chemicals PFOA and PFOS.”

Less than a year later, in May 2016, the EPA put out a drinking water health advisory level (HAL) limiting the combined concentration of PFOA and PFOA to 70 parts per trillion. The Marinette County water systems were thus pushed to take action, the complaint alleges, doing such things as “shutting down wells, obtaining and/or purchasing alternative sources of water, and blending clean water with contaminated water to lower the level of PFCs in their customers’ water.”

Why does the complaint lay the Mariette County problem at the feet of 3M? The complaint claims, “3M was the sole manufacturer of AFFF containing PFOS in the United States, meaning the source of the PFOS contamination discovered at the AFTC could only have been the use and testing of 3M’s AFFF products.”

Many of the plaintiffs in this action have what the complaint calls “a bioaccumulation of PFCs in their blood.” The complaint alleges that some are already suffering from diseases that the complaint alleges are associated with the chemicals, such as thyroid disease and thyroid cancer.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Environmental

Most Recent Case Event

3M Firefighting Foam and PFAS in Water Supplies Wisconsin Complaint

June 6, 2022

The Ansul Fire Technology Center (AFTC) in Marinette, Wisconsin is used for training, testing, research, and development of fire suppressants. The complaint for this class action brings suit against the 3M Company for its aqueous film-foaming foam (AFFF) that the complaint claims has released potentially harmful chemicals into the environment which have found their way into water supplies. The chemicals include per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), for example, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) or perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).

3M Firefighting Foam and PFAS in Water Supplies Wisconsin Complaint

Case Event History

3M Firefighting Foam and PFAS in Water Supplies Wisconsin Complaint

June 6, 2022

The Ansul Fire Technology Center (AFTC) in Marinette, Wisconsin is used for training, testing, research, and development of fire suppressants. The complaint for this class action brings suit against the 3M Company for its aqueous film-foaming foam (AFFF) that the complaint claims has released potentially harmful chemicals into the environment which have found their way into water supplies. The chemicals include per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), for example, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) or perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).

3M Firefighting Foam and PFAS in Water Supplies Wisconsin Complaint
Tags: Contaminated Water/Groundwater, Contaminated with Harmful Substances, Environmental Contamination, Negligence, PFAS, Trespass