West Point opts out of 3M, Dupont lawsuit

Published 10:30 pm Friday, December 1, 2023

By Charlotte Reames

The West Point City Council recently voted to opt out of a pending class action suit against Dupont and 3M concerning harmful chemicals in the water system.

During Tuesday’s work session, the city went into executive session to discuss the litigation before taking any action. 

According to city attorney Alex Dixon, there is no indication that the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly known as “forever chemicals,” are present in the city’s water system. 

“The city is simply reserving the right to pursue its own litigation if that ever becomes an issue in order to protect the quality of the drinking water for the city of West Point water system,” Dixon said.

Dupont and 3M have attempted to settle a class action lawsuit with many companies and cities for chemical contamination. Dixon said a number of cities have taken similar action, including the city of LaGrange, who voted to opt out of the pending class action suit earlier this month.

The PFAS are long-lasting chemicals that take a long time to break down. They are often used in many products like to help resist water, oil and other variables. 

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, studies have linked the presence of PFAS to harmful health risks in humans and animals. They are found in the water, air, soil and fish all around the world.