Middlesex & Union County Mayors Announce Consolidated Legal Action to Protect Residential/Commercial Water Supply Following Middlesex Water Company & 3M Notice of Exceedance

CARTERET, NJ  –  Carteret Mayor Daniel J. Reiman, Woodbridge Township Mayor John E. McCormac, Metuchen Mayor Jonathan Busch, South Plainfield Mayor Matthew P. Anesh, Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey and Clark Mayor Sal Bonaccorso today announced that they have collectively retained the nationally-recognized law firm(s) of Vlasac & Shmaruk, LLC of Iselin, New Jersey and Berger Montague PC of Philadelphia, to investigate the actions being implemented by 3M and Middlesex Water Company (MWC) to comply with federal and state safe drinking water standards and to file appropriate lawsuit(s) against the companies responsible for the polluted groundwater in their respective Townships.

In the aftermath of the Notice of Exceedance publicly announced on October 22, 2021, which reported that their system is in violation of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) standard for Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), and in conjunction with the 3M/MWC update advisory issued on November 1 expanding the notification area of customers served by the MWC Treatment Facility located in South Plainfield, the Mayors collectively determined to pool municipal resources and to implement appropriate legal action(s) to preserve and protect residential and commercial water users in their respective communities.

Additionally, after reviewing the initial Notice of Exceedance, the Mayors announced on October 25, that they had retained T&M Associates, a leading national consulting, environmental, engineering, technical services and construction management company to review and analyze the 3M/MWC company water quality reports, tests and related documents as related to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s drinking water maximum containment level (MCL) standard for PFOA.

“For many years Carteret has aggressively and successfully fought to protect the health of our residents and to hold polluters accountable in the court of law. Today, my administration is proud to join in announcing that we have partnered with our neighboring towns to engage special class action counsel and to take legal action against the Middlesex Water Company and 3M for the high and unacceptable levels of PFOA in drinking water being supplied to our residents. We demand immediate action, first to correct the exceedance of PFOA in drinking water, second to compensate our residents and businesses for the added costs of buying bottled water and the installation of water filters,” said Carteret Mayor Daniel J. Reiman.

“Just like we combined forces to engage environmental experts, it makes good sense to join together on any litigation efforts because we collectively represent over 300,000 residents and that makes us a powerful force,” said Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac.

“After thorough consideration of the multitude of concerns expressed by Borough residents regarding the Middlesex Water situation, we have decided to join in the filing of this lawsuit to help protect our residents’ interests,” said Metuchen Mayor Jonathan Busch.

“I am requesting the Borough Council consider joining this lawsuit at our next Municipal Council meeting which is scheduled for Nov. 15,” said South Plainfield Mayor Matthew P. Anesh.

“I believe this litigation is absolutely necessary to get the truthful answers my residents deserve, to include but not be limited to assessing the accurate level of PFOA contamination, insure continued truthful and timely public release of critical information, and the complete details on what Middlesex Water Company is actively doing to limit continued exposure, and ultimately mitigate this pollutant. I will accept nothing less,” said Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey.

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