The City of Westfield has filed a federal lawsuit against three manufacturers of firefighting foam for contaminating water wells with PFOS near Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport. Susan Phillips, City Solicitor and Assistant City Solicitor John E. Garber, filed the lawsuit on the cities behalf. Richard W. Head of SL Environmental Law Group in San Francisco and Kevin J. Madonna of Kennedy & Madonna LLP in New York will be representing the City of Westfield.
Contamination closed two wells near the airport in 2015
Studies indicate that exposure to PFOA and PFOS over certain levels may result in adverse health effects, including developmental effects to fetuses during pregnancy or to breastfed infants, cancer, liver effects, immune effects thyroid effects and other effects .
Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, PFOS, and perfluorooctanoic acid, PFOA, are synthetic fluorinated organic compounds used in industrial and consumer products.Commonly grouped with other synthetic fluorinated chemicals using the umbrella term Perfluourinated Compounds, or PFCs, PFOS and PFOA are the only two compounds with established lifetime health advisories for drinking water.
In 1970, the Air Force began using Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), which contains PFOS/ PFOA. AFFF is the most efficient extinguishing method for petroleum fires. AFFF is widely used across the firefighting industry, including all commercial airports.
The Environmental Protection Agency established a Lifetime Health Advisory level of 70 parts per trillion for a combined concentration of PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.
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