Monday, September 25, 2023

BHI joins suit against PFAS manufacturers

Bald Head Island joined a multi-district lawsuit against the manufacturers of PFAS, in a proactive move to get costs covered or upgrading its water filtration system. (Courtesy BHI)

BALD HEAD ISLAND — This week the Village of Bald Head Island joined a lawsuit against the manufacturers of PFAS.

The multi-district litigation is a federal class-action complaint against nearly three dozen companies for the toxic chemicals in a variety of products, including fire-fighting foam used for decades at airports and military installations.

While BHI officials have said the current drinking water meets all state and federal requirements, new federal regulations will soon call for stricter requirements. The Environmental Protection Agency announced in March new regulations for six PFAS to not exceed 4 parts per trillion.

As a result, local utilities companies may be required to install additional filtration systems. In a preemptive move, the village is filing suit to recover costs of removing PFAS compounds from the water supplied to Village Utilities customers. It will ensure the BHI water, currently drawn from 16 groundwater wells, exceeds what is required by the new regulation.

“This is an important step to both protect and even our water for the future,” BHI officials wrote in a press release. “In addition, this action seeks to protect our local ratepayers from bearing the costs for these treatment costs; those costs should be borne by those who created the chemical and are responsible for its resulting contamination.”

The village is represented by a team of law firms with utilities litigation experience, including Baron & Budd, P.C, and Cossich, Sumich, Parsiola & Taylor. The litigation is on a contingency fee basis, therefore, there is little financial risk to the village, the release states.

View the complaint here.

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