Decatur Utilities approves settlement in PFAS chemical lawsuits

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DECATUR, Ala. – Decatur Utilities approved lawsuit settlements Thursday tied to claims of PFAS chemical contamination by 3M and other companies. The $98 million settlement was approved by the Decatur City Council and Morgan County Commission at a meeting Tuesday night.

Decatur Utilities spokesperson, Joe Holmes said DU’s portion of the settlement will include $12.9 million in reimbursement for past and future PFAS related expenses at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. He also said there will be a $5.4 million payment for additional damages.

DU General Manager Ray Hardin said the money awarded will be used to fund future projects at the Wastewater Treatment Plant and those projects will be reviewed by management as well as the board every year.

“Given that we are already in the midst of a series of rate increases to fund SSO remediation over the next 10 years, we want to avoid any future rate actions if possible,” said Hardin. “Having these funds available for essential projects at the Wastewater Treatment Plant will help us achieve that goal.”

The settlements were announced on October 19 and include commitments by 3M of payments of $98 million to the governments and Decatur Utilities, widespread investigation and cleanup of both ground and water.

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