BREAKING NEWS: Water Authority, Chemical Maker Settle Suit Over Contaminated Drinking Water

On Thursday, the West Morgan-East Lawrence Water authority announced that Decatur chemical maker Daikin will pay $5 million to settle claims relating to drinking water from the Tennessee River that was fouled by high concentrations of the toxic chemicals PFOA and PFOS.

Almost 10 percent of that, $450,000, will go to reimbursing WMEL customers for water costs incurred when a “do not drink” warning was in effect in early summer.

The settlement, confirmed by both parties but subject to court approval, also includes $3.9 million for a granular activated carbon filtration system that will effectively remove the toxic chemicals “for the next three to four years,” according to a WMEL news release.

The remainder will go towards additional costs including notice to the customers, expert fees and attorneys’ fees.

The water authority stated it has similar claims against chemical maker 3M that are not part of this agreement.

It noted that Daikin has denied the dangers of PFOA and PFOS but “this settlement agreement shows the necessity of providing drinking water free from these contaminants is urgent and clear.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year set a new standard for concentrations of PFOAs and PFOSs in drinking water. EPA said then that long-term exposure may result in adverse health effects.