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Middlesex County Water Contamination

On October 22, 2021, Middlesex Water Company sent a notice to all residents whose homes were supplied by Middlesex Water Company’s Park Avenue Treatment Plant in South Plainfield. Residences in parts of Edison, Metuchen, South Plainfield, and Woodbridge received this notice. Middlesex Water tested their groundwater and found that it contained levels of Perfluorooctanoic Acid that were in excess of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s current standard for contaminates. In 2020, the DEP adopted a standard of 14 parts per trillion of PFOA and in September 2021 Middlesex Water had a quarterly average of 21 parts per trillion.

PFOA is known as a “forever chemical” because it is extremely persistent. PFOA does not break down in the environment, which can cause a build-up of the chemical in the human body. PFOA has been linked to a wide range of health issues such as cancer, specifically kidney and testicular, hormone disruption, liver issues, thyroid problems, reproductive harm, and abnormal fetal development. It is found in food packaging, household products, personal care products, drinking water and soil.

Middlesex Water has stated that the contamination is expected to continue until they are able to upgrade their facility which will be an estimated $47 million. This upgrade will not be ready and functioning until 2023. There is currently one lawsuit filed against Middlesex Water Company that was certified as a class action lawsuit in the New Jersey Superior Court for Middlesex County. There are currently two other lawsuits that have been filed against Middlesex Water in the Federal Court District of New Jersey that have not yet been certified as class action lawsuits. Furthermore, Middlesex filed suit against 3M, which is the only known manufacturer of PFOA in the United States. This suit was filed on October 26, 2018, which shows Middlesex Water was at least aware of the higher levels of PFOA in their water supply.

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