Washington, D.C. - The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) is following with interest the proposed $1.185 billion settlement of litigation between water utilities and three corporate defendants, Chemours, DuPont, and Corteva, over contamination attributable to so-called “forever chemicals.”
“AMWA is hopeful that this will be the first of many victories to firmly establish the principle that polluters, not water systems and their customers, should bear the financial burden of getting PFAS out of drinking water,” commented AMWA CEO Tom Dobbins, CAE. This is just one of many important cases pending in courts throughout the country and addresses select PFAS with only three of the many current and historic manufacturers of PFAS. AMWA is concerned that the full details of any settlement are not yet publicly available, and will update members as new develops unfold. “While over a billion dollars is real money, it is a virtual drop in the bucket of potential utility costs to monitor, remove and dispose of these contaminants in accordance with anticipated federal regulations,” said Dobbins.
Current estimates indicate the cost of drinking water treatment of PFAS can approach around $3-6 billion annually nationwide. AMWA believes that any near-term settlements to avoid litigation must be viewed in this context. The association urges its members and other utilities to carefully assess what claims they will be giving up to participate in such settlements. “Water systems did not introduce these contaminants into the environment, and they did not profit for decades by doing so,” said Dobbins. “Any settlement that caps manufacturer liability must hold the manufacturers accountable for the full long-term costs of clean-up.”
The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) has been the unified and definitive voice for the nation’s largest publicly owned drinking water systems for over 40 years. AMWA’s membership services more than 160 million people with safe drinking water.