Corrected: DuPont, Corteva, Chemours confirm support for settlement with public water systems over PFAs

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Chemours Company, DuPont de Nemours, Inc., and Corteva, Inc. confirmed their support for an earlier agreement to resolve PFAs-related drinking water claims of public water systems.

Not covered are private water utilities that deal with what are sometimes known as “forever chemicals” that went into the water supply from sources such as a type of firefighting foam. Traces of PFAs around Wilmington-New Castle Airport and Dover Air Force Base have been found in wells.

Some water systems contend that the costs of installing equipment to filter out the PFAs exceed the compensation in the settlement. If so, those costs would be borne by public water utility customers.

The three companies would contribute nearly $1.2 billion to the settlement fund under the agreement dating from June. The settlement does not include a waterway area around a North Carolina plant owned by Chemours and, before that, DuPont.

The three companies continue to claim that if a settlement fell through, they have a solid legal defense that contends harm from the chemical traces has not been proven.

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On December 20th, the notice administrator in the South Carolina case requested an extension until Jan. 3, 2024, to file a list of public water systems that have opted out of the settlement with the United States District Court in South Carolina.

According to a joint company release, the water systems have sufficient insight into this process to determine their rights.

On Dec. 7, the court issued an order allowing water systems that elected to opt out of the settlement to rejoin the settlement class until as late as March 1, 2024.

On December 14, the court held a hearing on final settlement approval.

DuPont and its two spin-offs, Corteva and Chemours, have split the projected costs of settlements.

In November, makers or successor companies of PFA makers, including 3M, won a victory when the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned a lower court decision on a class action suit that would have included nearly every resident in Ohio, calling the action overly broad.

Delaware reached separate settlements over environmental issues involving the companies, with the state benefitting when a separate case in Ohio was settled. (See story below).

DuPont is based near Wilmington, with Chemours headquartered in Wilmington. Corteva, a combination of Dow and DuPont agribusinesses, is based in Indianapolis and has an office presence near Wilmington.

Correction: Chemours states that the settement covers PFAs, a class of chemicals. A previous version of this post used the term PFA, a reference to a type of plastic.

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