Legal professional Normal takes motion in opposition to poisonous chemical substances

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Attorney General takes action against toxic chemicals

Staff Reports
Published 10:44 a.m. ChT Oct. 31, 2020

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The Office of the Attorney General has taken action against additional defendants in its lawsuit to hold manufacturers and distributors of foams that contain perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as “forever chemicals,” liable for the harmful effects of their product, according to a released statement. 

The chemicals have been linked to adverse health effects such as infertility, birth defects, and an increase in the risk of certain cancers.

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Although the chemicals have not been detected in Guam’s drinking water, several water wells have tested above the Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory levels and two wells have been rendered inoperable.

The Office of the Attorney General sued eight companies last year alleging that they engaged in false, misleading and deceptive acts about the risks posed by their products.

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The office added the following firms to the list of liable manufacturers: 

  • Arkema Inc.
  • AGC Chemicals.
  • Americas, Inc.
  • Dynax Corporation.
  • Clariant Corporation DuPont De Nemours, Inc.
  • Corteve, Inc.

The companies were added alongside other businesses in the complaint:

  • The 3M Company.
  • Tyco Fire Products LP, Chemguard Inc.
  • Buckeye Fire Equipment Company.
  • Kidde-Fenwal Inc.
  • National Foam Inc.
  • E.I. Du Point De Nemours and Co.
  • The Chemours Company. 

The case is pending in the District Court of South Carolina in the discovery phase, but is set to proceed during the following months.

During the discovery phase, parties exchange evidence and witness information. Read the amended complaint here.

While the lawsuit is seeking to address contamination on Guam, Attorney General Leevin Camacho has also joined in efforts to address the chemical’s contamination at the national level.

Earlier this month, Camacho and 19 other attorneys general urged Congress to protect communities that house military installations and service members from the chemical’s contamination when they finalize the National Defense Authorization Act.

The attorney general coalition calls on Congressional leadership among other things to:

  • Provide additional funding and authorization for the chemical’s cleanup.
  • Research the development of safe disposal mechanisms and alternatives to the chemical-laden firefighting, aqueous, and film-forming foam. 
  • Limit what chemical-containing products the Department of Defense can procure. 
  • Require the Department of Defense to engage in meaningful stakeholder communication, including promptly publishing results of drinking, surface or groundwater chemical testing.

“Our ongoing multi-district litigation lawsuit targets manufacturers for the production and distribution of aqueous film-forming foam, but as an island that hosts extensive military installations, it’s important we address the chemical’s contamination from all angles, including changes in federal law,” Camacho said.

Last yearCamacho joined 21 other attorneys general in a letter to Congress asking that the chemical be designated as a “hazardous substance” under federal law and for funding to remediate chemical-contaminated drinking water supplies.  

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