Fairborn joins Bellbrook in getting settlement money from 3M’s $10B PFAS lawsuit

Several years ago, trace amounts of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) or “forever chemicals” were found in the Fairfield Park wellfield, according to the city. This wellfield was a backup, and was only utilized during maintenance procedures, the city said, and was permanently isolated from the Fairborn water supply system.

Traces amounts of PFAS, well below EPA reporting limits, were also found in the Mad River wellfield, the city said.

The city plans to use the settlement money to continue well testing, and update treatment processes set by EPA regulations as they become available, and Fairborn’s public water systems “have remained current with all levels of PFAS well below EPA regulations,” the city said.

Other municipalities and water providers have until June 2026 to apply for compensation if contamination is found.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are toxic, persistent, man-made substances that have been linked to a host of ailments, including cancer, pregnancy defects, liver and immune problems, Tasha Stoiber, a senior scientist at Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group previously told the Dayton Daily News. The chemicals have been found in firefighting foam, as well as consumer products labeled “non-stick,” or ‘stain-repellent.”

In April, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set maximum enforceable levels of two PFAS chemicals — perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) — at 4.0 parts per trillion.

Neither Fairborn nor Bellbrook have been notified of the dollar amount they will receive yet, but Bellbrook will be using the money to develop a process to “remediate PFAS possibilities from our watersource,” City Manager Rob Schommer said.