New Jersey sues 3 firms over ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

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FILE – This Jan. 6, 2014 file photo shows a section of the New Jersey Pinelands region in Lakehurst, N.J. On Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, New Jersey officials sued three companies, demanding that they clean up chemical contamination of the environment, including waterways, in West Deptford and Edgewater, in an effort to force chemical companies to pay for decades of contamination of waterways by so-called “forever chemicals” used to stain-proof clothing and produce non-stick cookware that have become ubiquitous in everyday life. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry, File)

New Jersey is upping its efforts to force chemical companies to pay for decades of contamination of waterways by so-called “forever chemicals” used to stain-proof clothing and produce non-stick cookware that have become ubiquitous in everyday life.

The state sued three companies on Tuesday, alleging they have failed to clean up, and in some instances continue to release, chemicals that have polluted public drinking water at opposite ends of the state in Edgewater and West Deptford.

The substances are sometimes called “forever chemicals” because they do not break down, and accumulate in the air, water, soil and even fish.

They can harm fetuses and newborns, and have been associated with cancer.

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