OAKLAND – Leading a coalition of five attorneys general, California Attorney General Rob Bonta today filed an amicus letter expressing strong concerns over the amount of money that DuPont and two spin-off companies would pay under a proposed class action settlement with public water providers. While the proposed settlement has been revised in several important ways at the request of states led by Attorney General Bonta, DuPont declined to pay more than the $1.18 billion set forth in the original proposed settlement filed on July 10, 2023. In their amicus letter, the five attorneys general underscore that $1.18 billion falls far short of the amount needed to remediate the PFAS contamination caused by DuPont to Americans’ drinking water supply. Revisions to the proposed settlement, which were also filed today, remain subject to court approval.
“As a result of our negotiations with DuPont, the revised proposed settlement is a better deal for the American people and I am supportive of it moving forward,” said Attorney General Bonta. “But DuPont must pay far more to address the damage its toxic products have caused, and California will vigorously prosecute its own PFAS lawsuit to ensure the company is held accountable. When reviewing future settlements with DuPont or other PFAS manufacturers, we urge the court not to consider the DuPont settlement as a point of reference.”
With his opposition to 3M’s proposed PFAS settlement last month, this marks the second coalition that Attorney General Bonta has led to prevent manufacturers from shirking their responsibilities to address PFAS contamination. The California Attorney General’s Office would not fall within the scope of either of the proposed settlement agreements. Attorney General Bonta pushed for changes to both agreements to protect the interests of Californians, the rights of all states, and to advance a lawsuit that he filed on November 10, 2022 against 20 PFAS manufacturers. He continues to vigorously prosecute that case.
In their amicus letter to the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, the California-led coalition writes that:
In their letter, the attorneys general acknowledge that while the original proposed settlement suffered from several fatal problems, DuPont has agreed in the revised proposed settlement to:
PFAS have been widely used in consumer products including food packaging, cookware, clothing, carpets, shoes, fabrics, polishes, waxes, paints, and cleaning products, as well as in firefighting foams designed to quickly smother liquid fuel fires. In 2021, the California Legislature passed and Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1200, which restricts the manufacture, distribution, and sale of food packaging that contains PFAS and requires manufacturers of cookware to disclose the presence of certain chemicals on the internet or product label.
Joining Attorney General Bonta in filing the amicus letter are the attorneys general of Arizona, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.