3M should continue to pay for pollution damage
Recent updates to safety levels for Minnesota water contaminated with perfluorochemicals (PFCs ) has triggered new state actions to provide safe drinking water. These actions include the provision of bottled water or filtered water to private well owners and updating public water filtration systems at an estimated cost of $4 to $15 million dollars. Despite an existing legal agreement with Minnesota to pay for the cost of providing safe drinking water, 3M is denying financial responsibility for these new costs.
Clean Water Action Minnesota State Director, Deanna White, issued the following statement in response:
“The 2007 legal agreement between Minnesota and 3M is based on the expectation that 3M has an obligation to ensure that the levels of their chemical in the water meet state recommended levels for PFCs. Now 3M is denying their responsibility and attempting to walk away from the continued expense of meeting this commitment to protect the communities they polluted. This is unacceptable.
3M has a moral and legal obligation to pay for the costs of providing safe drinking water to residents and communities whose water was contaminated by 3M chemicals. In the company’s most recent sustainability report, 3M boasts about being named the “world’s most ethical company.” It is not ethical to pollute people’s drinking water and then refuse to pay for safe water.
Clean Water Action calls on 3M to be the strong Minnesota corporate citizen they claim to be and meet their obligation to the residents of polluted communities and to all of the Minnesotans that look to them to set a better example.”