The town of Easton is suing numerous chemical companies whose products contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that the town alleges have contaminated its drinking water supplies.
The federal lawsuit seeks to recover the costs associated with removing the chemicals, which have been associated with health problems.
The companies include the 3M Company, Chemguard, Dupont, and Tyco.
In its complaint, Easton alleges that its fire and rescue department used fire-fighting foam products, unaware that they contained the harmful chemicals, which contaminated ground water that fed the town water supplies. The companies knew about the health hazards of the chemicals but continued to sell them without warning to their customers, the suit alleges.
In 2019, Easton found PFAS levels that exceeded the state safety standard in three of the water system’s seven wells. The town installed a self-service filling station to provide non-contaminated water to residents, and Town Meeting voted in May 2021 to spend $9.2 million for new treatment plants to remove the contaminants at three wells.
“This litigation is a key pillar of our multi-prong approach to mitigate not just the contamination, but also the financial impact on our rate payers, and to hold the manufacturers accountable,” Easton Town Administrator Connor Read said in a statement.
Johanna Seltz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.