NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI, May 9, 2023 – SL Environmental Law Group has been retained by the Town of North Kingstown, RI and has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Town against 3M Company, E.I. DuPont de Nemours, Inc., and other manufacturers of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) for their involvement in the manufacture and sale of per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) that have infiltrated groundwater supplies within the Town. The Town, despite this infiltration, has remained in compliance with all applicable water quality regulations and has filed this lawsuit in an effort to recover costs necessary to remove these substances and remain in compliance with State and Federal regulations and guidance.
Ralph Mollis, theTown Manager, said, "Through this lawsuit, the Town of North Kingstown is seeking to protect its ratepayers and ensure that any costs of removing these contaminants are borne by 3M, DuPont, and the other companies that sold and profited from their products containing PFAS. In order to do so and after a careful review, we selected SL Environmental Law Group to represent us, due to their extensive expertise in water litigation and nationwide experience representing water suppliers in PFAS cases.”
PFAS are persistent toxic chemicals that bioaccumulate when released into the environment. Certain levels of exposure to PFAS have been associated with several negative health outcomes in both humans and animals. PFAS has impacted surface water and groundwater throughout the country resulting in hundreds of similar suits brought forward by water providers, and mostly against the same defendants, in an ongoing Multidistrict Litigation supervised by a federal judge in SouthCarolina.
PFAS have been used for decades in AFFF, certain industrial processes, and in the production of thousands of common household and commercial products that are heat resistant, stain resistant, long lasting, and water and oil repellant. The PFAS family of chemicals are entirely man-made and do not exist in nature.
“The manufacturers and sellers of PFAS containing products–3M, DuPont, and other defendants–knew that these products would likely pollute groundwater, yet they failed to take reasonable and available steps to avoid the use of PFAS in products and failed to provide warnings that using these products as directed could result in groundwater contamination.” said Ken Sansone, partner at SL Environmental LawGroup. “Through this lawsuit, North Kingstown is asserting its rights under Rhode Island law to ensure the quality and availability of water resources to the thousands of citizens and businesses who rely on those resources. The Town wants to ensure that it is the corporations whose products are responsible for contaminating its water pay the potentially substantial costs of cleaning it up.”
SL Environmental LawGroup is handling North Kingstown’s case as part of a team of law firms that has decades of experience representing municipalities and other water providers across the nation in efforts to recover the costs of treating groundwater contamination from the corporations whose products caused the contamination.This group of firms is representing more than 130 other water systems across the country affected by PFAS.
About SLEnvironmental Law Group, P.C.: SL Environmental is a law firm that exclusively represents cities, states, and water utilities in cases involving water contamination. Founded in 2003, the efforts of SL Environmental have resulted in its clients receiving over $1.2 billion in settlements and judgments from polluters who contaminated drinking water supplies.