Another lawsuit has been filed against DuPont Co. over PFOA contamination of water supplies near the company’s Washington Works plant, this one by the Little Hocking Water Association.
The Little Hocking Water Association provides drinking water to about 12,000 people in Washington and Athens counties in Ohio, across the river from Parkersburg, W.Va., and the Washington Works plant.
As I understand this suit, the water association alleges that the treatment system DuPont paid to install on the Little Hocking system as a result of a previous lawsuit settlement is not adequate. Instead, they want the company to find Little Hocking residents an entirely new source of drinking water.
It’s worth noting that Little Hocking’s lawyer, D. David Altman, is not the same as the lawyers who worked out the 2004 settlement with DuPont on behalf of tens of thousands of Mid-Ohio Valley residents (including those who get their water from Little Hocking). Lawyers who worked out the 2004 deal were with the Taft firm, Hill Peterson, and Winter Johnson and Hill.
Little Hocking was also the last of the water systems contaminated by DuPont to actually install the activated carbon filtration system required by the legal settlement. The new lawsuit basically argues that DuPont could turn off the system whenever it wanted to, so some other solution is needed. But under the previous lawsuit settlement, DuPont must continue to operate the treatment at least until a science panel (also set up by the settlement) completes a study of whether PFOA is dangerous to human health. If the study finds such an association, the company must continue the treatment.