Lawsuit claims 3M dumped dangerous chemicals into Tennessee River

3M plant in Decatur
3M plant in Decatur

A lawyer for a Lawrence County woman filed the lawsuit in federal court last week.

Posted: Sep 16, 2018 3:48 PM
Updated: Sep 16, 2018 4:01 PM

A new lawsuit from a Lawrence County woman battling cancer claims 3M knowingly dumped dangerous chemical compounds into the Tennessee River from its Decatur plant.

Deanna Arnold filed the lawsuit last week in federal court. The suit claims Arnold’s doctor diagnosed her with kidney cancer last year.

PFOA is Perfluorooctanoic Acid. PFOS is Perfluorooctane Sulfonate.3M and Daikin poured PFOA and PFOS into the Tennessee River at Decatur.

The lawsuit centers on chemical compounds -- known simply as PFOA and PFOS -- used to make non-stick products. It says for 35 years, 3M dumped those compounds into the Tennessee River at Decatur and buried associated sludge.

The lawsuit also names Daikin and the West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority. The authority’s attorney says, just like customers, it’s a victim of the corporate polluters.

WMEL was able to plan, build and successfully start using its carbon filtration system in 90 days.

WAAY 31 has previously reported about steps the West Morgan East Lawrence Authrity has taken to remove PFOA and PFOS. WMEL installed carbon filters. That system has dramatically cleaned the water. The authority publishes monthly readings and sends them out with water bills to reassure customers. Click here to read our full report.

Jeaniece Slater shows WAAY 31 the Reverse Osmosis pilot system the water authority is testing.

Now, WMEL is evaluating a reverse osmosis system.

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