the Water Works and 3M announced Tuesday that they would work together, along with the Alabama Department of Environmental Managemen
“As part of the agreement, GWWSB will dismiss its pending lawsuit while retaining the right to refile the lawsuit if joint efforts do not result in a satisfactory solution,” the parties said in a joint statement.
The 3M Guin plant is located about 85 miles northwest of Birmingham and 14 miles from the Mississippi state line. It manufactures products including sheeting for road signs, reflective pavement tape for roads, microscopic glass bubbles and ceramic microspheres, used to improve performance of paints or coatings. The facility has been operating in Guin since 1955.
In July, 3M reached a consent agreement with the state of Alabama regarding PFAS pollution from its Decatur facility, pledging to pay for the costs of PFAS cleanup without limit. The company says it has already spent $100 million to address PFAS pollution from the Decatur plant, which is separate from the plant in Guin.
When the lawsuit was filed, Guin Water Works said it was seeking to compel 3M to pay for a new filter system to address those chemicals, which are not removed by standard water treatment processes. 3M reached settled a lawsuit with another utility, the West Morgan East Lawrence Water and Sewer Authority in 2019, agreeing to pay $35 million for a new filter system for that utility, which draws from the Tennessee River downstream from 3M’s Decatur facility.