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3M reaches preliminary $10 billion pollution settlement with US cities, Bloomberg reports




June 2 (Reuters) – 3M Co ( MMM.N ) has reached a preliminary settlement of at least $10 billion with a number of U.S. cities and towns to resolve water pollution claims related to “forever chemicals,” Bloomberg News reported on Friday, citing to people familiar with the matter.

Shares of 3M were up 8.4% at $1[ads1]02.16 on Friday afternoon.

Reuters could not immediately confirm the report. A 3M spokesperson said the company “does not comment on rumors or speculation.”

Hours earlier, chemical companies including Chemours Co CC.N, DuPont de Nemours Inc DD.N and Corteva Inc CTVA.N reached a $1.19 billion agreement in principle to settle allegations they contaminated U.S. public water systems with potentially harmful chemicals.

3M was scheduled to go to trial on Monday against the City of Stuart, Florida. It was not immediately clear whether the trial will continue.

Stuart alleges that the company made or sold firefighting foams containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, despite knowing for decades that the chemicals can cause cancer and other ailments. The city has said it is seeking more than $100 million from 3M to pay for water filtration and soil remediation.

3M has said in court documents that PFAS has not been linked to health problems at the levels detected in drinking water.

Stuart’s lawsuit is one of more than 4,000 filed against 3M and other chemical companies by local municipalities, state governments and individuals from across the United States that have been consolidated in federal court in South Carolina. The Stuart case was chosen as the first “bellwether” or test case in that trial.

3M in December set a 2025 deadline to stop producing PFAS – used in everything from cellphones to semiconductors – amid growing legal scrutiny of the substances commonly called “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down easily in the human body or the environment.

Lawsuits over them threaten companies like 3M, DuPont and others with billions of dollars in liabilities.

Stuart, a coastal town of about 20,000 people about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of West Palm Beach, Florida, sued 3M and others in 2018. The town claims firefighting foam containing PFAS was regularly sprayed at a local fire station, allowing the chemicals to seep into groundwater .

Reporting by Priyamvada C in Bengaluru and Clark Mindock and Brendan Pierson in New York Editing by Devika Syamnath, Alexia Garamfalvi and Matthew Lewis

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Brendan Pierson

Thomson Reuters

Brendan Pierson reports on product liability litigation and on all areas of health law. He can be reached at brendan.pierson@thomsonreuters.com.



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