Ann Al-Bahish in Bloomberg Law: PFAS Maker 3M Pays Utility’s Legal Fees in State Regulatory Fight

06/15/2020

Haynes and Boone, LLP Partner Ann Al-Bahish talked to Bloomberg Law about why the partnership between corporate giant and PFAS maker 3M Co. and a New Hampshire water utility may alarm local environmental activists.

Here is an excerpt:

The joint legal effort raises concerns about how water utilities are upholding their commitment to provide safe water and respond to PFAS contamination, according to Mindi Messmer, a former state legislator and co-founder of the New Hampshire Safe Water Alliance.

PFAS, or poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances, have been used by hundreds of companies to make thousands of products, including semiconductors, sticky notes, and shoes. The original PFAS manufacturers—the 3M Co. and DuPont—Chemours, a DuPont spinoff, and some companies using the chemicals are the subject of several PFAS-related lawsuits.

Some PFAS have been linked to a host of health problems and prompted states to set new regulations to limit them in drinking water and other areas. New Hampshire’s governor in 2018 signed a state law to establish drinking water standards for four PFAS. Regulators came up with new limits that were set to take effect in September.

Texas-based Haynes and Boone, LLP environmental attorney Ann Al-Bahish said that even if the partnership between 3M and the utility doesn’t provide the parties more legal standing in challenging the regulations, it still offers the case more weight as there’s power in numbers.

“When people who don’t seem like they should be allies are allies, there can be persuasive strength in that, generally speaking,” said Al-Bahish, who isn’t involved in the New Hampshire case.

To read the full article, click here.

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