Decatur mayor, councilman at odds over 3M landfill testing

In an interview Tuesday, Mayor Bowling insinuated a third party is testing
Published: Jul. 16, 2019 at 10:34 PM CDT
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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - A heated argument between Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling and City Councilman Charles Kirby broke out during Monday night’s meeting.

The argument in question: is Decatur’s water safe to drink?

This comes just one week after 3M and the city of Decatur announced they were going to be testing three previous 3M landfills.

“I’m gonna do everything to take care of the residents of the city of Decatur when it comes to these potential issues or it may not be an issue," Bowling said.

Kirby says he believes an independent third party needs to do the testing, not 3M and the city.

“If people are doubting that the water is safe, then have we done our jobs? What more can we do to assure our citizens that the water and the water discharge is safe?" Kirby explained.

In an interview Tuesday, Mayor Bowling insinuated a third party is testing. He says, “there very well could be.”

However, the question still lies, who is doing that supposed testing? According to Kirby, it’s not independent.

“Third party is hired by one of the participants in the lawsuit, it’s not independent. We owe the public the independent test results. Good or bad," he explained.

Kirby says the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) or another alternative source should do the testing.

However, when WAFF 48 News asked the mayor if he thought ADEM should be involved, he thought otherwise.

“There are monitoring reports coming from all over the state and I don’t know if there’s enough officials with ADEM to keep up with that," Bowling said.

Bowling says moving forward, he wants a resolution, and that will come with time and testing.

“I am a big fan of DU [Decatur Utilities]. I think the water’s safe. We need to assure our public that it’s safe," Kirby said.

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