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PFAS-affected water systems to receive $750M in settlement with Tyco Fire Products 

Wisconsin-based company manufactured firefighting foam containing toxic chemicals

Aerial View Of Tyco's Fire Training Center In Marinette
An aerial view of Tyco’s Fire Training Center in Marinette. The DNR has said it has data showing that wastewater containing PFAS came from the training center. The chemicals are known to build up in biosolids generated by treatment plants, which were then spread on farm fields. Photo courtesy of Johnson Controls International

Tyco Fire Products, a Marinette manufacturer of firefighting foam, reached a $750 million settlement Friday with public water systems that detected harmful “forever chemicals” in their drinking water. 

According to settlement documents, Tyco expects to distribute $250 million to the affected communities this spring, with the remaining $500 million to be distributed six months after preliminary court approval. It was not immediately clear which communities would be receiving the funds. 

Tyco, a subsidiary of Johnson Controls International, used foam containing PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, at its firefighting training facility in Marinette. 

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These are a class of thousands of synthetic chemicals that have been used in everyday products like nonstick cookware, stain-resistant clothing, food wrappers and firefighting foam since the 1940s. The chemicals don’t break down easily in the environment, and research shows high exposure to PFAS has been linked to kidney and testicular cancers, fertility issues, thyroid disease and reduced response to vaccines over time.

“This settlement resolves claims involving contaminated drinking water and provides compensation critical to protecting our nation’s drinking water supplies and upgrading our water treatment infrastructure to deal with this emerging threat,” environmental attorney Paul Napoli said in a press release Friday. 

Naploli’s firm is representing a number of communities in lawsuits regarding PFAS contamination. 

Other PFAS manufacturers including 3M and DuPont have also recently settled lawsuits over the impact of the chemicals in drinking water. 

“We are pleased to have reached this broad settlement with a nationwide class of public water systems,” a representative from Johnson Controls said in a statement. 

The settlement is not an admission of liability or wrongdoing by the company, according to the documents.