Federal judge officially closes Tennessee Riverkeeper case against 3M

Decatur

DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — United States District Court Judge Liles C. Burke closed the case alleging 3M contaminated portions of Decatur and Morgan County on Monday, according to federal court records.

This comes after a $98 million settlement between 3M, the city of Decatur, Morgan County, and Decatur Utilities was announced this past fall.

The settlement agreement resolved the federal court lawsuit initiated by the Tennessee Riverkeeper organization and compels 3M and the other companies to remediate PFAS contamination that the lawsuit says they created. The order entered by Judge Burke gives him continuing jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the settlement. 

“While we are happy that our lawsuit helped Decatur and Morgan County get nearly $100 Million from 3M, that payment is just a small part of the punishment for polluting,” said David Whiteside, Tennessee Riverkeeper Founder, and Executive Director. “Let me be clear there is no limit to what 3M will have to pay to thoroughly clean up its PFAS contamination.”

Among the key details in the settlement, 3M has agreed to pay millions to cap several Decatur Utilities landfills. The company will also pay $35 million for a new recreation center and ball fields to replace the Aquadome in Decatur.

An October news release from the City of Decatur outlined the terms of the settlement:

  • $9.2 Million Reimbursement for past PFAS costs
  • $7.0 Million for Future sludge disposal costs for Decatur Utilities
  • $25.0 Million Payment to Decatur, Morgan County and Decatur Utilities
  • $22.2 Million Payment to cap Cells 2-11 of the Decatur Morgan County Regional Landfill (DMCRL)
  • $35.0 Million for a New recreational facility and ball fields to replace the Aquadome complex

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