Scott Summy, one of the lawyers of the case, announced that 3M will pay 10.3 billion dollars under the agreement between the city of Stuart, Florida and the company.
Stating that the company will make the payment within 13 years, Summy also stated that this amount could reach up to 12.5 billion dollars, according to the tests that the Environmental Protection Agency requires to be carried out in drinking water networks in the next 3 years.
Mike Roman, 3M executive director, said in a statement that the deal marks an important step towards the company’s decision to phase out production of harmful chemicals such as PFOA and PFOS in 2020.
On the other hand, the settlement in question will be subject to court approval.
In the statement made on the website of the 3M company, it was stated that the acceptance of the payment is “not an acceptance of responsibility” and that the company is “ready to continue to defend itself” in case the settlement is rejected in court.
Minnesota-based 3M will discontinue PFAS production by the end of 2025.
Restrictions for harmful substances were introduced in the USA
While these compounds have been detected at varying levels in many drinking water systems across the country, the US Environmental Protection Agency proposed strict limits for the two common types, PFOA and PFOS, in March.
Water suppliers were held responsible for inspecting their systems for chemicals.
Other companies have also settled on lawsuits.
Earlier this month, companies DuPont de Nemours, Chemours and Corteva also agreed to pay $1.18 billion over PFAS complaints from many drinking water suppliers.
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “eternal chemicals”, have been associated with a variety of health problems, including liver and immune system damage and some types of cancer.