West Morgan East Lawrence water authority wants state to sue 3M

3M plant in Decatur
3M plant in Decatur

WMEL sent a letter to the governor and attorney general requesting the action.

Posted: Oct 16, 2018 11:54 AM
Updated: Oct 16, 2018 5:26 PM

WAAY 31 obtained a letter written by the West Morgan East Lawrence Water & Sewer Authority. The letter encourages Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall to actively sue 3M for dumping questionable chemical compounds directly into the Tennessee River at Decatur.

Thirteen miles downstream, the West Morgan East Lawrence water treatment plant takes in water from the river. The authority has taken drastic measures to remove PFOA and PFOS from drinking water. The measures have been successful, but the carbon filtration has also been expensive. The authority borrowed $4 million to clean the water.

The letter points out that it has filed suit against 3M for “polluting the state’s waters and damage to our plant.” The letter also states, “We believe that the Tennessee River, the largest river in our state, is a natural resource that should be protected and treasured by all Alabamians. Yet, 3M has turned it into a legacy of pollution that threatens our water supply.”

WMEL wants Attorney General Marshall to take legal aim at 3M. The company is attempting to combine the local lawsuit with several others across the country. WMEL says that would hurt its chances in court. It points out that when the Minnesota attorney general sued 3M, the company agreed to an $850 million settlement.

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