Opinion regarding an article on 3M grand jury subpoena

By Don Gowen

(Regarding an article, 3M reveals grand jury subpoena involving Decatur plant, global layoffs By Eric Fleischauer Metro Editor, Decatur Daily, January 29, 2020. Available on decaturdaily.com)

What is very telling by this article are the statements issued by Mr. Roman that “3M is cooperating with this inquiry” and that the recent charge against earnings “supports a more aggressive effort to assist EPA in dealing with PFAS”.  This has the appearance of being primarily focused on being involved and engaged in controlling the investigative process and final determination of the issue.

The most telling statement by Mr. Roman is the paragraph:  “They’ve (EPA ??) laid out a plan to move forward. We are working to support that with our investment and research and understanding — helping the understanding of PFAS, providing our data, and really doing things like helping to provide a clearinghouse for all of the information and data around PFAS,Roman said.

One would think that EPA and ADEM (if they really wanted to get to the bottom of the issue) would have the availability of the highest level of scientific knowledge to conduct an investigation, analysis, and final determination of any health issues – and what should be done in remediation – INDEPENDENTLY.  To ensure the  validity of the process should 3M be involved as a “clearinghouse” of all information and data around PFAS”?  Since 3M is under no legal obligation to provide any information or testing results of potentially contaminated sites such control could lead to “filtering” of the results.

To effectively resolve the issue such investigation, analysis, and final determination should be conducted by qualified sources independent of any involvement by 3M who has a vested interest (litigation outcome, media exposure, and corporate and shareholder costs) to control the outcome of any resolution.


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