3M Company, accused of polluting water and soil in Minnesota, will pay the state a settlement of $850 million, according to a statement released on Feb. 21.
The company, based in the state capital St Paul for more than 115 years, said it reached an agreement with local authorities to end a lawsuit over "certain PFCs (perfluorinated chemicals) present in the environment."
According to the attorney general's office, 3M deposited PFC-related waste in the soil and water of the Twin Cities East Metro region -- which encompasses Minneapolis and St Paul -- between the 1950s and early 2000s.
These chemical compounds were used, among other things, for the production of a carpet cleaner -- and were sold to DuPont USA for the manufacture of products containing Teflon.
The money paid by 3M will go toward a fund that finances water sustainability projects in the area.
"While we do not believe there is a PFC-related public health issue, 3M will work with the state on these important projects," said 3M chief technology officer John Banovetz, who also serves as senior vice president of research and development.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton called the settlement an "enormously important advance to protect the health of over 67,000 Minnesotans in our East Metro area, who deserve clean and safe drinking water."
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2018