Illinois IG suing 3M over leaked ‘Forever Chemicals’

Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 11:16 PM CDT
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CORDOVA, Ill. (KWQC) - The State of Illinois filed a lawsuit against 3M over alleged contamination at its plant along the Mississippi River.

In an over 60 page lawsuit, the Office of Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul alleges 3M contaminated the area around its plant in Cordova with Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, or PFAS for decades.

The lawsuit alleges that 3M violated various laws, including the Federal Clean Water Act and the Illinois Environmental Protection Act by leaking PFAS into the river and soil.

According to the EPA’s website, PFAS, or so-called ‘Forever Chemicals,’ are toxic to humans and break down very slowly. The agency has found PFAS in water, air, soil and even fish.

The EPA also warns that PFAS can cause negative effects on fertility and development in children, increase the risk of certain cancers and interfere with the immune system and hormones.

Attorney General Raoul said in a press release that 3M knew of the dangers of PFAS as early as the 1960s.

This lawsuit was filed on March 16, in the Rock Island County Circuit Court.

In a statement to TV6 News, 3M promoted its investments at the Cordova plant and denied any wrongdoing.

If found liable, 3M could face fines of up to $50,000 per violation and $10,000 per each day violations continue.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Mayor of Cordova, James Boone, declined to comment on the matter. Meanwhile, The Illinois Department of Public Health and Attorney General Raoul’s Office did not respond in time to TV6′s request for an interview.

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