West Tisbury may receive a legal lifeline in their effort to respond to a contamination of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the town water supply. According to town counsel Ron Rappaport, they are eligible to join a class action lawsuit against manufacturers of firefighting foams that caused the contamination.

The state department of environmental protection notified West Tisbury last month that they found 10 contaminated private wells near the fire station, identifying the town as the party responsible for remediation. On Feb 2, the select board voted to direct $304,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to hire environmental consulting firm Wilcox and Barton.

At a board meeting on Feb 15, Mr. Rappaport said that the town would be able to join an ongoing lawsuit against the manufactures.

“We have a couple lawyers who have reached out…they would propose to represent the town as a plaintiff in that multi-party litigation in South Carolina, 100 per cent on a contingency basis,” he said, emphasizing that there would be no cost to the town before a payout.

Mr. Rappaport suggested the town join the South Carolina suit, since a similar suit from the Massachusetts attorney general’s office has their attention divided across the state.

Mr. Rappaport plans to present final contracts for approval on Feb 22.