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3M agrees to pay $ 98 million to solve costumes over chemicals forever



(Reuters) – Industrial conglomerate 3M Co. on Tuesday said it had agreed to pay about $ 98.4 million to resolve allegations that it polluted the Tennessee River with toxic chemicals.

3M agreed to resolve a lawsuit filed by the environmental group Tennessee Riverkeeper. and a separate class action lawsuit by Alabama's Morgan County residents. It also negotiated a private settlement with Morgan County, the city of Decatur, where 3M's local facility is based, and Decatur's supplier.

The three agreements cover all 3M's manufacturing and disposal of polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, at its Decatur industrial area in Morgan County.

The settlements come a day after the Environmental Protection Agency said it would set limits on PFAS, which researchers have associated with diseases such as kidney cancer.

PFAS has been called "forever chemicals" because they do not break down easily. They have been used for decades in household products, e.g. cookware.

The agreements are subject to final approval, says 3M in a statement. The company did not admit wrongdoing.

3M's head of the Decatur website, Michelle Howell, said in a statement that she hoped the deal would "strengthen Decatur for the future."

Tennessee Riverkeeper in a statement calling the settlement "just a start."

Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling said in a statement that the settlement "will fund improvements that make the environment in Decatur and Morgan County healthier."

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