Proposed PFAS Settlements

Proposed PFAS settlements will affect all public water systems

The MWRA Advisory Board is committed to keeping our member communities informed about critical developments, and we want to provide you with an essential update regarding the proposed legal settlements involving DuPont, 3M, and public water systems across the United States. These settlements are designed to tackle the pressing issue of PFAS contamination in our drinking water supplies.

As outlined in our previous communication to MWRA water communities, these settlements require public water systems to take proactive steps if they choose not to participate. Failure to do so will automatically enroll communities into the settlements. It is of utmost importance that each MWRA community thoroughly examines their options and makes an educated decision.

New information that directly impacts MWRA and its member communities

In the time since our initial communication, there have been significant developments that we believe you should be aware of as you carefully evaluate these proposed settlements. Specifically, there have been motions filed to provide further clarity on the allocation procedures for “interrelated drinking water systems,” such as the MWRA as a wholesaler to its 48 water communities, which also qualify as “public water systems” as defined in the proposed settlements.

MWRA’s unique relationship with its member communities means that we all share the same drinking water source, originating from the Quabbin and Wachusett reservoirs. This unique dynamic required a thorough examination of the original proposed settlement language regarding allocation. Other water wholesalers across the nation share similar concerns and complexities.

To address this issue, the parties involved have released “joint interpretive guidance” documents for both the 3M and DuPont proposed settlements. You can access these documents on the PFAS settlement website at

The objective of this guidance is to offer additional clarity for interrelated systems, like the MWRA and its communities. However, it is crucial that legal counsel representing each community thoroughly review these documents to gain a comprehensive understanding of the implications.

We would like to inform you that the only deadline that has been altered in light of these recent developments is the DuPont objection deadline, which has been extended to November 11, 2023. The initial letter provided a breakdown of other important deadlines that communities should be mindful of.

This remains a highly complex legal matter with ever-evolving developments, and we want to emphasize the importance of each MWRA community actively engaging their legal counsel to make the most informed decision that best serves their residents’ interests concerning participation in these settlements. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Your concerns and input are valued as we navigate this critical issue together.