Attorney General Alan Wilson yesterday filed suit against several companies, including 3M, Buckeye Fire Equipment, and DuPont, to hold them accountable for knowingly contaminating South Carolina’s natural resources through toxic “forever chemicals” known as PFAS, specifically Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF). AFFF is a firefighting agent commonly used in commercial applications to combat high temperature fires.
“I’m a firm believer in the free market, but when companies knowingly violate the law and harm South Carolinians in the process, there deserves to be consequences. By filing this suit, we’re fighting to protect our valuable natural resources and keep South Carolinians safe,” said Attorney General Alan Wilson.
PFAS are a group of synthetic chemical compounds that don’t occur naturally in the environment. They are used for a wide array of consumer products, such as food packaging and non-stick cookware, and for industrial uses like textile, electronic, and automotive manufacturing. In August, Attorney General Wilson filed suit for PFAS contamination as it relates to state natural resources, drinking water, consumer products and manufacturing.
Similarly, AFFF contains PFAS chemicals, and its use has also contributed to contamination in South Carolina waterways and soil.
The most recent complaint states, “Defendants knew with substantial certainty that PFAS contained in AFFF would reach onto and contaminate State natural resources and property, including water systems, surface water, groundwater systems, and zones of influence of the areas that supply production wells within the State. Defendants’ knowledge was based on their knowledge of the properties of AFFF, their knowledge and experience regarding PFAS contamination at their own facilities where they manufactured and/or used AFFF, and other conduct alleged in this Complaint. Despite this knowledge, Defendants manufactured, marketed, distributed, promoted, and/or sold AFFF products containing PFAS with a profit motive in a way that has harmed the State.”
Through this action, Attorney General Wilson is seeking to hold these companies accountable and award South Carolina damages for the decades of injury to South Carolina’s natural resources and public safety caused by the toxic forever chemicals.