Decatur mayor criticizes 3M, then deletes Facebook post


DECATUR, Ala – Earlier this month, News 19 reported there has been another negotiation deadline extension in an ongoing lawsuit involving Decatur and 3M, alleging the chemical maker polluted the Tennessee River and should clean it up.

The lawsuit was filed by Tennessee Riverkeeper. Mediation discussions have been ongoing for several months.

Decatur’s Mayor Tab Bowling posted a Facebook message critical of 3M, this week, then apparently pulled it down.

The mayor wrote that 3M needed to do more for Decatur. The post said, “Decatur 3M has hurt us beyond our limits”. It also called on the company to replace the city’s aquatic center and ball field.

The post has now been deleted.

News 19 reached out to Mayor Bowling about the statement. Bowling admitted posting it, but said he is being treated for COVID-19 and that he was on strong steroids when it was posted. He called the message a mistake, and declined to say what Decatur residents should make of the post.

He did say he was ‘encouraged’ by the lawsuit settlement negotiations. He declined to say what 3M should do for Decatur.

We asked 3M about Bowling’s message. 3M released a statement to News 19 Saturday saying, “3M remains committed to working with the city in the ongoing mediation efforts.”

3M is currently under a consent order with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management that requires the company to clean up PFAS chemicals in, Decatur, and Morgan and Lawrence counties.

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