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First Hearing in Centre Waterworks & Sewer Board lawsuit against 36 chemical companies

December 21, 2017--7:21 a.m.


The opening hearing in the lawsuit filed by the Water Works & Sewer Board of the Town of Centre against a total of 36 chemical companies, was held in front of Judge Jeremy Taylor in the Cherokee County courthouse Wednesday morning.

That suit alleges Centre Water “…continues to be damaged due to the negligent, willful, and wanton conduct of the defendants caused by the past and present release of toxic chemicals from their manufacturing facilities in and around the City of Dalton, Georgia.”

The suit goes on to say that the defendants operate or supply chemical products to facilities upstream of Centre Water’s intake site, in or near Dalton and furthermore those companies use chemical compounds that degrade into PFC’s, in order to impart water, stain and grease resistance to their carpet and other textile products. The lawsuit contends these chemicals resist degradation during processing at Dalton’s Wastewater Treatment Center, ultimately contaminating the Conasauga River, which is one of the Coosa River’s five major tributaries, which of course, affects water quality in Cherokee County.

After giving the rather substantial number of attorneys present on Wednesday morning the opportunity to introduce themselves, Judge Taylor dealt with several orders and requests before moving on to motions.

Those speaking on behalf of their clients delivered a long list of objections to being named as defendants in the case – some stating that their company didn’t even manufacture carpet containing the chemicals they’re being accused of producing, and some saying their process doesn’t produce wastewater, so nothing from their plant even goes to the Dalton treatment facility therefore nothing from their company could go into the water to harm anybody.

One company says their Dalton facility is simply a warehousing and storage location.

Attorneys for the Waterworks & Sewer Board countered each argument, saying at this time everyone who has been named in the suit should remain on that list – adding that for years and years alarms have been sounded about the dangers of these chemical compounds – and the residents of Cherokee County should not be the ones to have to pay for a multi-million dollar filtration system.

A date for a follow up hearing has yet to be set 

You can read the complaint here.