Maine sues manufacturers over forever chemical contamination

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 3:11 PM EDT
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PORLTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s attorney general is suing manufacturers of so-called forever chemicals that have contaminated farms and wells, contending they knew about the toxicity decades ago but concealed the information from the public.

The lawsuits targeting DuPont, 3M and others seek to recover costs to investigate, mitigate and monitor contamination.

Attorney General Aaron Frey said Wednesday the state is working overtime to identify and deal with contamination.

“The defendant manufacturers have willfully introduced toxic chemicals into Maine’s environment in pursuit of profit for shareholders,” he said. “Maine citizens and the state are left to manage the harm these chemicals cause.”

A DuPont spokesperson said the company doesn’t comment on litigation but believes “these complaints are without merit.” 3M didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Authorities have detected the high levels of PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, in bodies of water, wells and even in some wildlife like deer.

But a bigger problem appears to be large-scale contamination of farms where sludge was spread, causing PFAS contamination.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, herself a former attorney general, applauded the lawsuits and said the companies must be held to account “in the face of this recklessness.”