Delaware’s Attorney General, Kathleen Jennings, has taken a bold step to protect the state’s environment. She’s suing several companies over the pollution of land and water with chemicals known as PFAS. These chemicals come from a firefighting foam used at places like airports and military bases.
After two years of deep digging, the state found that 3M Company and some other manufacturers are the main culprits. Their products have harmed rivers, groundwater, and even wildlife. And guess what? These companies knew about the risks but chose profits over health and environment.
Jennings made it clear, saying, “I don’t care who you are: if you harm Delaware and its people, we will hold you accountable. 3M and the other defendants knew the dangers that PFAS posed and they still chose profits over our neighborhoods and our children. Delawareans shouldn’t have to pay the costs of corporate greed, and we’re taking action to ensure that they won’t.” She’s determined that Delaware folks shouldn’t bear the cost of this corporate mess.
The legal battle is happening in the Superior Court of Delaware. The goal? To get compensation for the damage and the cost of cleaning up. Two major spots, the New Castle County Airport and Dover Air Force Base, are in the spotlight. They’ve been using this foam for years, and now, water and land are paying the price.
Here’s a shocker: 3M knew about the dangers of PFAS way back in the 1960s. But instead of raising an alarm, they saw dollar signs and expanded its use. And while there were safer alternatives available, they just kept pushing their toxic products without proper warnings.
Now, think about places like the New Castle County Airport and Dover Air Force Base. At these spots, the foam with PFAS was used pretty often, especially during firefighting drills. So, over time, this foam got into the ground and started affecting the environment.
These PFAS chemicals are pretty stubborn. They stick around in living tissue, which means they can keep affecting us for a long time. Some of them have even been linked to serious health issues like cancer and thyroid problems. And guess what? Some local water utilities had to set up special filters just to get these chemicals out of drinking water.
For those in Delaware who get their water from private wells, the state recommends checking the water every year. And for those on public water systems, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the water quality reports.
This lawsuit shows Delaware’s dedication to its people and nature. It’s a clear message: businesses need to be responsible, and if they mess up, they’ll face the music.