Alabama AG’s Office, WMEL water authority still haven’t met to address drinking water concerns

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. - Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall praised the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Tuesday announcement of its intent to get rid of a rule under the Clean Water Act. The Water of the United States regulation, which included the federal government to have authority over streams and wetlands went into effect in 2015.

The attorney general was quick to respond and announce his support on the repeal of that part of the Clean Water Act. However, it's been a much slower process for Marshall to address the drinking water concerns of Lawrence County residents.

A WHNT News 19 investigation that aired in September revealed ailing residents felt abandoned by the state of Alabama after dangerous levels of manufacturing chemicals were found in their drinking water in 2016.

On election night, Marshall told us he would meet with West Morgan East Lawrence Water Authority officials.

"The Attorney General is not the environmental watchdog for the state of Alabama but we want to be responsive to the needs of the community," explained Marshall.

No meetings have taken place between AG Marshall's office and WMEL water authority officials, leaving residents to wait and wonder what the future holds. A spokesman for the AG and a representative from WMEL indicated a meeting may be coming soon.

Carl Cole, an attorney for the WMEL water authority told us they've been unable to coordinate a meeting with the attorney general because of their own scheduling conflicts. WMEL officials hope to meet with the AG after the holidays.

A spokesman with the AG's office told us on Wednesday that they also intend to meet with WMEL officials in January.

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