3M to test for more chemicals leaking into river in Decatur
By Dennis Pillion | Alabama Media Group | July 8, 2019
Read full article by Dennis Pillion (Alabama Media Group)
“3M has agreed to test three closed landfills near its Decatur plant on the Tennessee River to see whether they may still be releasing cancer-linked chemicals PFOA and PFOS into the river or groundwater.
The company issued a news release Monday saying it would conduct investigations at the closed landfills at Brookhaven, Deer Springs and Old Moulton Road/Mud Tavern, in cooperation with the city of Decatur, Morgan County and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.
According to 3M, those sites had been active since the 1950s and were closed in accordance with the law at the time…
In April, 3M announced a settlement with the West Morgan East Lawrence Water and Sewer Authority, in which 3M will pay for a new filter system at the WMEL plant, costing around $35 million.
The EPA’s current health advisory is a guideline and not a binding regulation. The agency said this year it is in the process of setting a national drinking water limit for the chemicals…
3M began manufacturing both compounds in Decatur in the 1960s, but voluntarily halted production of both in 2000 after the potential health impacts were better understood.
Decatur Utilities issued a statement Monday stating that its tap water is safe to drink and is within the new EPA health advisory threshold.
‘DU wishes to remind all Decatur residents that their DU drinking water is completely safe and meets or exceeds all state and federal regulatory standards,’ the utility said. ‘Tests for these chemicals in our water supply have been non-detect, or at near non-detectable levels.’
David Whiteside, founder and executive director of environmental group Tennessee Riverkeeper, said he hopes 3M conducts a thorough examination of those three sites and continues looking for other potentially contaminated spots in the area.
‘Tennessee Riverkeeper is glad 3M is accepting some responsibility and will start testing these landfills for PFAS pollution,’ Whiteside said via email. ‘The 3M Company should have been doing this all along, whether voluntarily or forced by the state.'”
This content provided by the PFAS Project.