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Tampa Bay Water files ‘forever chemicals’ lawsuit against DuPont, 3M

The utility serves more than 2.5 million customers. A spokesperson said Tampa Bay Water has not detected dangerous levels of the chemicals in its supply but is taking an 'initial step’ amid evolving science.

Tampa Bay Water, the regional supplier of drinking water for more than 2.5 million people, is suing chemical companies including DuPont and 3M over environmental contamination from flame retardants, according to court records.

The utility’s filing May 14 places it among a growing number of organizations calling for damages from the corporations for the release of “forever chemicals” — certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, which studies show may hurt human health. The case references pollution from a particular type of foam used to fight fires, which has been connected to training sites, military bases and airports. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection lists MacDill Air Force Base as one place with a confirmed presence of at least one contaminant. Flame-retardant foam has also been tied to tainted wells near the Florida State Fire College in Ocala.