Fluoride Action Network

Paulsboro water contamination brings second lawsuit against Solvay Specialty Polymers

Source: South Jersey Times | February 12th, 2014 | By Rebecca Forand
Industry type: Perfluorinated chemicals

A second lawsuit has been filed against Solvay Specialty Polymers in West Deptford following complaints of water contaminated in Paulsboro stemming from the plastics plant.

Three Paulsboro families have filed suit and are being represented by the Cedar and Williams, Cuker and Berezofsky law firms.

The families claim that Solvay improperly disposed of solid or hazardous waste that included perfluorochemical compounds (PFCs) such as perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).

The Delaware Riverkeeper Network, an environmental group, recently drew the borough’s attention to a Department of Environmental Protection water quality survey that found high levels of PFNA in Paulsboro’s well No. 7, the borough’s only current public water source.

Solvay used the unregulated chemicals in its production process from the 1980s through 2010. There are currently no recognized limits on PFCs, including PFNA and PFOA, in drinking water. However, the DEP has asked Paulsboro residents to use caution in utilizing the water, especially for very young children.

“This ongoing contamination of Paulsboro’s water supply presents an imminent and substantial endangerment to Paulsboro’s public health,” said David Cedar, one of the attorneys on the case.

The federal lawsuit asks Solvay Specialty Polymers to begin testing and remediating the problem immediately, to install, operate, maintain and pay for measures to make Paulsboro’s public water wells safe and to remove hazardous waste from Mantua Creek and portions of the Delaware River.

It also asks for blood testing and compensation for the families.

A previous lawsuit had been filed on behalf of 12 Paulsboro families by attorneys Lewis G. Adler, Louis D. Fletcher, Roger C. Mattson and Paul DePetris.

Solvay’s representatives have since responded saying the company will “defend itself aggressively” against the claims.