The Water Works and Sewer Board of the Town of Centre, Alabama., has filed a lawsuit against carpet and textile companies, manufacturers and chemical suppliers of PFC’s, 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 perfluorooactanoic acid (PFOA) into the raw water supply upstream of Centre Water’s intake site, in or near the City of Dalton, Georgia. Representing the Town of Centre are Beasley Allen lawyers Jere Beasley, Rhon Jones, Rick Stratton, Grant Cofer and Ryan Kral, together with Roger H. Bedford of Roger Bedford & Associates in Russellville, Alabama.

“PFC readings in Centre have been steadily rising above the EPA Lifetime Health Advisory of .07 ppb. This suit seeks to hold those responsible who have contributed to the PFC contamination of the Centre water source. Safe and clean drinking water is vitally important to Centre,” Jones said. “Dalton, Georgia, is known as ‘The Carpet Capital of the World’ and is home to many carpet and flooring manufacturers who use PFCs. The EPA has acknowledged that these carpet manufacturers are responsible for PFC concentrations in that area. We believe those PFCs have migrated downstream to contaminate the Centre water supply. The polluters must bear the expected multi-million dollar cost cleaning up and removing the PFCs from the water system. Some of the highest PFC test results in North America, if not the world, have been recorded near the discharge sites for these carpet manufacturers.”

In May 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued new lifetime health exposure guidelines for PFOS and PFOA. 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 the Town of Centre to moniitor for PFOS and PFOA in the community’s water system.

The complaint has been filed in the Circuit Court of Cherokee County, Alabama.

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