News and Views

January 17, 2020

State announces lawsuit against 17 companies accused of causing PFAS contamination

Source: https://www.wnem.com/, January 14, 2020
By: Rachel McCrary and AnnMarie Kent

The governor and attorney general are demanding that 17 companies responsible for using PFAS pay up.

“The lawsuit is an important part of fighting PFAS contamination,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said.

Nessel claims that these companies including 3M and Dupont not only knew about the problems with PFAS but even hid this information from the public, knowing the ill effects as far a back as the 1980. Read more.
January 17, 2020

Cleanup of contaminated industrial site in Detroit is expected to cost millions

Source: https://www.wzzm13.com/, January 16, 2020

Officials of Michigan’s environmental agency says the cleanup of an industrial site in suburban Detroit from which contaminated water leaked last month will likely cost millions of dollars.

Tracy Kecskenmeti of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy on Wednesday told Michigan lawmakers efforts to contain the leak at the Electro-Plating Services Inc. site in Madison Heights has cost at least $200,000 over 24 days. Read more.

January 17, 2020

Foam with ‘forever chemicals’ found in two Twin Cities streams

Source: https://www.mprnews.org/, January 14, 2020
By: Kirsti Marohn

State researchers have found foam containing elevated levels of PFAS, sometimes known as “forever chemicals,” in two streams in the east Twin Cities metro area.

Officials from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Health said that there’s no immediate health threat to the public. But they are cautioning people to keep away from the foam and take precautions if they — or their pets — come into contact with it. Read more.

January 17, 2020

Michigan Sues 3M, DuPont over ‘Forever’ Chemical Contamination in Water

Source: https://www.insurancejournal.com/, January 16, 2020
By: David Eggert

Michigan on Jan. 14 sued 3M, DuPont and other companies for financial damages from contamination caused by potentially harmful “forever” chemicals that are turning up in drinking water across the industrial state.

The lawsuit filed in state court alleges that 17 defendants deliberately concealed the dangers of a class of substances known collectively as PFAS. The filing, announced by state Attorney General Dana Nessel and Gov. Grethen Whitmer, came a year-and-a-half after former Gov. Rick Snyder first stated Michigan’s intent to sue Minnesota-based 3M and other unnamed parties. Read more.

January 17, 2020

Massive oil refinery leaks toxic chemical in the middle of Philadelphia

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/, January 16, 2020
By: Corbin Hiar and Lisa Riordan Seville

Last May, an air monitor on the border of the East Coast’s largest oil refinery recorded a level of benzene, a cancer-causing gas, more than 21 times the federal limit.

In June, an explosive early morning fire rocked the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery, terrifying nearby residents. Weeks after the disaster, as PES filed for bankruptcy and wound down operations, another air monitor in the network that rings the facility quietly registered the same sky-high reading for benzene. Long-term exposure to the sweet-smelling chemical has been linked to leukemia, lymphoma and a host of blood and immune system disorders. Read more.

January 17, 2020

Insurance Coverage May Pay for PFAS Related Environmental Investigations

Source: https://www.lexology.com/, January 17, 2020
By: Albert M. Cohen, Loeb & Loeb LLP

Over the past few years, PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) have come under increased scrutiny by a variety of regulatory agencies.

In March 2019, the California State Water Board (Water Board) initiated a statewide effort to assess the scope of contamination by PFAS in water systems and groundwater. It issued nearly 14,000 investigatory orders to various entities, including public water systems within two miles of airports and one mile of landfills. The Water Board also issued orders to hundreds of chrome-plating operations throughout the state, requiring them to conduct investigations to determine the presence of PFAS. Read more.

January 17, 2020

State of Michigan sues 17 companies over PFAS contamination

Source: Detroit Free Press, January 15, 2020
Posted on: https://www.advisen.com/

The state of Michigan filed suit Tuesday against 3M, DuPont and 15 other companies on accusations of contaminating the state with dangerous PFAS chemicals — known as “forever chemicals” because they are so slow to break down in the environment.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the suit, filed in Washtenaw County Circuit Court. Read more.

January 17, 2020

Environmental issues top worries for those heading to Davos

Source: Associated Press, January 15, 2020
Posted on: https://www.advisen.com/

Environmental issues make up the top five risks to the global economy for the coming decade, organizers of next week’s World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos said Wednesday.

Citing a survey of hundreds of key decision-makers, the WEF pointed to potentially catastrophic trends like global warming and the extinction of animal species underscoring how the environment has surged up the international policy-making agenda ahead of risks like cyberattacks, recession and nuclear proliferation. Read more.

January 17, 2020

Bed bugs ruined anniversary Princess cruise, ‘Marriage Story’ actress claims in suit

Source: South Florida Sun Sentinal, January 16, 2020
Posted on: https://www.advisen.com/

An actress in the popular Netflix movie “Marriage Story” claims she had to be hospitalized after suffering severe bed bug bites on a Princess Cruises voyage over Thanksgiving weekend in 2018.

Connie Flores, who had a small role in the movie that stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, filed a lawsuit against the cruise line, owned by Miami-based Carnival Corp., in federal court in Los Angeles. Read more.

January 17, 2020

‘We failed’: Seattle Children’s CEO admits 6 deaths, more illnesses due to mold in ORs

Source: https://www.seattletimes.com/, November 18, 2019
By: Daniel Gilbert and Ryan Blethen

Seattle Children’s chief executive disclosed Monday that 14 patients have been sickened by Aspergillus mold since 2001 — six of whom died — blaming his hospital for failing to recognize a connection between the infections and the air-handling units serving its operating rooms.

Dr. Jeff Sperring, Children’s chief executive, said the hospital had believed earlier infections were isolated events but that recent cases prompted staff to take another look. “Looking back, we should have made the connection sooner,” he said at news conference. “Simply put, we failed.” Read more.