The Water Works and Sewer Board of Gadsden, Ala., has filed a lawsuit against carpet and textile companies and their chemical suppliers that it says are responsible for polluting the city’s water supply. The lawsuit alleges the defendants are responsible for putting perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) into the raw water supply, causing Gadsden water to have higher readings for the man-made chemicals. In May of this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued new lifetime health exposure guidelines for PFOS and PFOA. Gadsden is being represented by Beasley Allen Principal & Founder Jere Beasley, and Rhon Jones, Beasley Allen Principal & Toxic Torts Section Head.
“The Gadsden Water Works and Sewer Board and its customers did not put these chemicals in the water. This lawsuit says very clearly that they should not be responsible for removing them either,” says Jones.
After the EPA issued the new exposure limits, an advisory warning was provided to eight systems in Alabama. The EPA advisory focused on PFOA and PFOS, man-made chemical compounds that are used in the manufacture of non-stick, stain-resistant, and water-proofing coatings on fabric, cookware, firefighting foam, and a variety of other consumer products. Exposure to the chemicals over time, even in trace amounts, could promote serious health problems, the EPA warns.
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) are working with the Water Works and Sewer Board of Gadsden (WWSBG) to monitor for PFOS and PFOA in the community’s water system.
The complaint has been filed in the Circuit Court of Etowah County, Alabama.
Read the complaint.