'We will find and fix them:' 3M investigating potential chemicals in Morgan County landfills

The company announced Monday it's investigating old landfills that were active in the 1950s.

Posted: Jul 9, 2019 7:33 PM
Updated: Jul 10, 2019 4:39 PM

WAAY 31 is trying to get answers about who is holding 3M accountable for potentially toxic chemicals in the Tennessee River.

The company announced Monday it's investigating old landfills that were active in the 1950s.

WAAY 31 spent the day digging for answers, trying to find out what happens if the test results come back positive. We're told 3M has already taken samples from the Deer Springs and Old Moulton Road landfills. They still need to go to one more site and then test the samples for any chemicals.

3M announced it's investigating three former landfills in Morgan County for potentially dangerous chemicals called PFAS. Those chemicals could cause cancer.

The question remains, what happens if the samples come back positive, and what will be done about it?

We called the 3M headquarters and asked them just that. They said it depends on what is found. We were then pointed to the announcement the company made on Monday.

3M stated "we will find and fix them" if there were any issues related to PFAS. The company would not go into detail as to what actions would be taken.

The company says dumping chemicals into the landfills was allowed back to the 1950s and the company followed the rules from decades ago. In 2000, 3M says it voluntarily stopped producing the toxic chemicals.

We reached out to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to see what repercussions the company could face, but we haven't heard back.

The City of Decatur requested that this investigation be done, but the mayor said he can't comment because of an ongoing lawsuit.

That's referring to a class action lawsuit where 3M settled with the West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority earlier this year for $35 million..

Right now, the samples from the landfill in Brookhaven still need to be taken before testing will begin. There is currently no timeline of when the landfill samples will be tested.

Decatur city officials say the drinking water in the city is safe despite the ongoing investigation.

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