3M Co. has settled a lawsuit with Minnesota’s Attorney General Lori Swanson for $850 million. The state has gone through damage of natural resource and human health problems it said were linked to a chemical formerly used in Scotchgard.
The lawsuit, filed in 2010, alleged 3M damaged Minnesota’s natural resources, including more than 100 miles of the Mississippi River, and contaminated drinking water, harmed wildlife and posed a threat to human health.
Attorney General Lori Swanson said that the settlement money would go towards projects to clean up and safeguard drinking water in the eastern suburbs of St. Paul.
The case focuses on the company’s disposal of chemicals once used to make Scotchgard fabric protector and other products. The company denies it did anything wrong, insisting it was acting legally at the time.
3M stopped making the chemicals in 2002, but two years later, traces of it were found in groundwater. The state alleges 3M knew the chemicals were getting into the environment and posing a threat to human health.