The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has identified five companies that it says have caused extensive water contamination throughout the state. The agency has directed the companies, including Solvay, DuPont, Dow DuPont, Chemours and 3M, to help fund millions of dollars in assessment and cleanup efforts.
The directive requires the companies to account for their use and discharge of polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances, referred to as PFAS chemicals, in New Jersey. The state will then hold them financially responsible for the cost of remediation.
PFAS chemicals are used in the manufacturing of plastics, some of which are used in nonstick cookware, stain-resistant coatings for upholstery, water-resistant breathable outdoor clothing and firefighting foams. They have been used to make brands such as Stainmaster®, Scotchgard®, Teflon®, Gore-Tex®, and Tyvek®. They have been used commercially and industrially for more than 60 years.
“The PFAS group of chemicals are ubiquitous in our environment and pose significant health risks to the public,” Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said. “In issuing this directive, we are putting these five companies on notice that many years of contaminating New Jersey’s precious drinking water and other natural resources will not go unchecked. On behalf of all New Jerseyans, we will hold these companies accountable and insist that they step up to address the problem they have created.”