CNMI to file separate PFAS complaint

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CNMI Attorney General Edward Manibusan says that the CNMI will be assisted by the subject matter experts that are providing counsel to Guam's case.

Earlier this week, the Guam Attorney General’s office issued a statement that the CNMI will be filing a complaint in the multi-litigation effort regarding PFAS contamination.

After the Guam Attorney General’s Office released an update that the CNMI has joined the multi-litigation effort regarding PFAS contamination, CNMI Attorney General Edward Manibusan says that the CNMI will be assisted by the subject matter experts that are providing counsel to Guam’s case.

Manibusan says that the CNMI and Guam will be filing separate complaints and will be assisted by Kelley Drye and Warren, an international law operating from Houston, Texas.

He also adds that the CNMI is currently compiling information to draft the complaint and anticipates formalizing the claims and filing the case in the upcoming weeks.

Short for polyfluoroalkyl substances, PFAS refers to a group of artificial chemicals that do not deteriorate and can cause adverse health effects such as birth defects, certain cancers, and changes to the immune system.

As stated in an earlier report on the issue, the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation – the CNMI public utility agency – says that high levels of the substance were detected on several locations in Saipan.

The affected area in question was the As Terlaje Tank in Saipan, which was found earlier this month to have had a PFAS concentration of 138 parts per trillion, exceeding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory of 70 parts per trillion.

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