Grassroots group organizes to address water contamination

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COURTLAND, Ala. - Strength in numbers. That's what some residents in Lawrence and Morgan Counties are counting on. At least three organizations are coming together now to demand clean drinking water and an end to the pollution in the Tennessee River.

This was their organizational meeting. The North Alabama Concerned Citizens, the Concerned Citizens of the West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority and the Warriors for Clean Water are joining forces to make certain what comes out of the tap will be fit for use.

"The local community has done a wonderful job but they've got to stay engaged," said Richard Dickerson. He’s the president of RAD Communications in Birmingham but also a former Mayoral Liaison for the Environmental Protection Agency. He adds, "They've got to continue to make calls, they've got to continue to write letters, they've got to continue to attend meetings. They've got to continue to rally and keep this on the front burner."

The group wants to make certain everyone who has been affected by exposure to the chemical compounds PFOA and PFOS are compensated. They will also make an effort to rid the Tennessee River of those and other pollutants. But it's an uphill battle and will take time and effort.

“The Sunday meeting, at 2pm here, is another opportunity for the community to come together to continue the discussion, to meet with lawyers, and to share information in terms of what has transpired and what will be going on, what will occur going forward,” Dickerson explained.

Meanwhile, officials with the West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority are awaiting test results before they declare their water safe to drink again, and residents continue to line up to get bottled water for their families.

The group's next meeting is Sunday at 2 p.m. at 444 Tennessee Street in Courtland. That’s approximately 1/2 block east of the downtown square. Expect to hear a report on the merging of the three groups to maximize their efforts, as well as discussion regarding the formation of subcommittee assignments. Several lawyers will be present to discuss testing for PFC contaminates in resident’s blood.

Request to join the organization's Facebook group.

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