German-based chemical company BASF agreed to pay $316.5 million to settle lawsuits from U.S. public water systems. The water systems claim that firefighting foam made by BASF contaminated their drinking water with PFAS chemicals. PFAS are linked to health problems and are difficult to remove from the environment. BASF denies any wrongdoing but will pay the settlement through insurance. This follows a series of similar agreements between water systems and other chemical companies concerning PFAS contamination. The pressure from upcoming trials is believed to be a major factor in BASF's decision to settle. PFAS are facing increased scrutiny beyond lawsuits. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently set national drinking water standards and classified two types of these chemicals as hazardous substances.