Man concerned about the quality of water, land near former Morgan County landfill

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DECATUR, Ala. – 3M is investigating PFAS, a broad group of materials once manufactured by the company, at a former Morgan County landfill off Old Moulton Road.

But one family that lives nearby is concerned about how long the investigation could take and what’s been done so far.

WHNT News 19 inquired about 3M’s investigation into the landfill. The company did not share any specifics.

When Kevin Robertson and his family relocated to Decatur years ago, they had goals in mind for their new home.

“We decided to find some acres to move out on, and to start developing with some livestock and a garden with an orchard and that type of thing,” he said.

Robertson explained, initially he thought the land was perfect for raising a family.

“When we bought out here, one of the things that we really liked about it was there was a creek running through the property,” Robertson recalled. “The kids would come back with tales of swimming in the creek, and getting bit by snapping turtles.”

That creek, is Mud Tavern Creek and it runs under the old landfill.

The Tennessee Riverkeeper said it’s contaminated with high levels of PFAS

After the company launched its investigation into the inactive landfill just a few miles from his home, Robertson said he hired a scientist to run tests on the well on his property.

“We intended on using the well to water our garden and for the chickens,” he explained. “And although the levels did come back relatively low, they were still there. That’s when I started educating myself more about it.”

3M issued a statement in regards to the allegations:

3M is investigating PFAS at the Old Moulton Road landfill, and is working with ADEM, Decatur Utilities and WMEL to identify and address private drinking water wells in the surrounding area that may be affected by PFAS. Area residents with questions about PFAS in private drinking water wells may contact 3M to coordinate sampling and testing that can determine if PFOA and/or PFOS is present at levels above the U.S. EPA’s lifetime health advisory of 70 ppt.

3M

The landowner said his problem is that it seems like no one, at the local level, cares.

“My biggest concern is the fact that no one is concerned because the city hasn’t been transparent. And I think there are environmental issues that are being hidden and so no one knows to be concerned,” said Robertson.

Decatur City Councilman Charles Kirby said that’s not true. He said he understands the homeowner’s concerns.

Kirby said it’s openly known that the old Morgan County landfill is one of the properties at risk, and he is fighting for transparency as it relates to city discussions.

An attorney for the city, Barney Lovelace, said no nearby property owners have contacted the city with concerns about the landfill.

While Robertson said, at this point he’s not sure how fast 3M can fix the alleged issue, but he says it needs to happen.

Not just for his family, but for generations to come.

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