Petition seeks to close Morgan County landfill, regulate river flow

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HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) - A group of residents in Morgan and Lawrence Counties say they have no more trust in local or state officials regarding the quality of the water they're drinking. They're starting a petition drive to ask for federal intervention in the ongoing West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority issue.

Ron Mixon says the environmental group Warriors for Clean Water developed the petition, but he says concerned customers of the West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority have pledged to help get it before the public. There are a total of seven demands within the petition.

“Number one,” says Mixon, “that TVA give us a constant river flow. Number two, that all 27 industries on the river that are allowed to dump the toxins, only be allowed to dump these toxins in a maximum river flow. Number three, that the Decatur landfill, or Morgan County Landfill, be declared a toxic site, immediately so, and shut down."

TVA confirms that they do slow, and even stop the river flow at times. Mixon says that allows the wastes dumped into the Wheeler Basin to just sit there, with some of it settling into the sediment on the river bottom. The Morgan County Landfill holds tons of PFOA and PFOS waste that makes it's way into the river by way of the Decatur Wastewater Treatment Plant. Their license does not limit the amount of those compounds that they can legally discharge directly into the water.

Mixon says local and even state authorities have been and will be no help in cleaning up the river.

“So now we've got to have some help from the federal government to come in here and enforce the legal, the federal laws that are already in place on the river, and then we can get it fixed,” Mixon says.

Mixon says the petitions, along with the results from samples taken from the river, will all be delivered to the House Oversight Committee created after the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Mixon says hard copies of the petitions will be available in many businesses beginning next week, however there is already an online version you can sign now. If you want to sign the petition electronically, CLICK HERE for a link to that site. For more information about Warriors for Clean Water, CLICK HERE. For the latest from the West Morgan East Lawrence Water & Sewer Authority, CLICK HERE.