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New York News

Companies Agree To $65M Settlement Over Hoosick Falls PFAS Lawsuit

The Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics facility on McCaffrey Street in Hoosick Falls
Lucas Willard
/
WAMC
The Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics facility on McCaffrey Street in Hoosick Falls

 

Three companies blamed for the pollution of water supplies in and around the Rensselaer County village of Hoosick Falls have agreed to pay $65 million to settle a federal lawsuit. The deal, first reported by the Times Union, still needs court approval. It would provide money and medical monitoring for thousands of property owners and residents, according to the newspaper. The suit against Saint-Gobain, Honeywell International, 3M and DuPont came after PFAS contamination of the village’s water supply was first discovered in 2014. The chemicals have been linked to ill health effects, including cancer. DuPont is not part of the announced settlement.

"Through the agreement, 3M, Saint-Gobain and Honeywell will collectively contribute a fixed total amount of $65.25 million to resolve the plaintiffs' claims on behalf of themselves and the proposed classes," said 3M in a press release. "Individual contributions among the parties will remain confidential under the agreement. 3M's contribution to the total amount is reflected in the company's existing financial reserves for litigation contingent liabilities as previously disclosed in its quarterly report. 3M proactively manages PFAS through environmental responsibility efforts, education and research, and engaging technology to strengthen global communities. We remain committed to working collaboratively with communities and sharing our scientific knowledge on PFAS to achieve our common goals." 

"Saint-Gobain is pleased to have reached a settlement agreement with the Plaintiffs in the New York class action lawsuit," said Lia LoBello, director of business of communications for Saint Gobain, in a statement to WAMC Wednesday evening. "Since first learning about the issue of PFAS in Hoosick Falls, the company took a leadership position on this issue and we believe this agreement is indicative of that commitment. The health, safety and wellbeing of both our employees and the communities in which we operate are important to us, and we take that responsibility very seriously."

Honeywell says remediation in Hoosick Falls is a top priority for the company.

“Using cutting-edge science and engineering, we continue to work collaboratively and transparently under the supervision of state and federal agencies to conduct environmental investigations, construct interim remedies, and implement cleanup plans,” Honeywell said in a statement to WAMC. “The Village’s municipal water supply has been non-detect for PFOA since March 2016 as a result of Honeywell’s and Saint-Gobain’s funding of interim and full-capacity water treatment systems. As a reflection of the Company’s commitment to responsible remediation, Honeywell, along with Saint-Gobain and 3M, has reached a settlement with plaintiffs in this class action, which has been submitted to the court for preliminary approval.”

New York state has been working to identify permanent drinking water sources for the village. 

The original version of this article stated the proposed settlement amount was $62 million. We apologize for the error. 

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