On Thursday, Nov. 3, the 3M Company agreed to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) order to sample and provide treatment to address contamination from per- and polyfluoroakyl substances (PFAS) – commonly referred to as “forever chemicals” – found in drinking water
near the company’s Cordova, Illinois facility.

As part of this settlement, 3M is required to offer treatment to all private well owners within 3 miles of the facility in an effort to remove PFAS from the drinking water, a news release says. Additionally, 3M is required to offer drinking water sampling out to 4 miles from the facility for private well owners and out to 10 miles from the facility for public water systems as well as to the Quad Cities’ public water systems, using EPA protocols and conducted under EPA oversight.

Although the Moline Water Treatment Plant is not within the 10-mile downstream window, it is nevertheless impacted by the settlement.

Moline tests its source water from the Mississippi River for various PFAS compounds at an annual cost of $4,400, utilizing a third party lab to conduct the highly specialized testing. These costs now will be the responsibility of 3M. Historically, Moline’s tested water contains
traces of between two and four PFAS compounds.

Currently, there are no drinking water regulations for PFAS compounds, but both the Illinois and U.S. EPA have indicated that likely will change soon, the release says.

Moline continues to be committed to providing its customers with safe, continuous and economical drinking water and will work proactively with relevant agencies to comply with future regulations, according to the release.