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Water pollution a concern in springs surrounding new Florence landfill

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT)  - An environmental advocacy group in the Shoals found a concerning level of pollution in springs that line the new Florence landfill.

David Whiteside and his team at Tennessee Riverkeeper are learning more about water quality where the new Florence landfill is discharging into seven different springs.

"We used a conductivity meter to test the conductivity of water, which basically measures the amount of total suspended solids in the water," Whiteside explained. "That is a great indicator of how polluted the water is."

SEA members David Cope and Charles Rose inspected the seven creeks, including Ram, Lewis and Big Red. They said each spring had a different level of pollution, but six out of seven had concerning levels of conductivity.

"The solution is to fix the pollution," Whiteside said. "Very much like Tennessee Riverkeeper did with the Old Florence Landfill. Unfortunately, we may have to file a legal action against the owners of the new landfill to clean up the seven springs that they've been discharging in for years."

The Riverkeepers are still waiting for the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to implement a 'Clean Act Permit' for illegal pollution caused by the old Florence landfill near Cypress Creek.

Unfortunately, with more cuts to ADEM, they could be waiting even longer.

"Here at Riverkeeper, we are very concerned that that's going to make environmental problems worse in the state of Alabama, and cause further damage to the citizens' air and water quality."

The Tennessee Riverkeeper also issued a notice of intent to sue chemical manufacturer 3M Company in Decatur for illegal pollution into the Wheeler Reservoir.