By Breken Terry

A local environmental advocacy group held a meeting in Florence to discuss millions of pounds of waste being dumped in Alabama rivers.

David Whiteside, the director of the Tennessee Riverkeeper, said they analyzed the Environmental Protection Agency’s data for 2015 and found where approximately 10 million pounds of chemical waste was dumped in Alabama waterways.

The data they reviewed was self-reported to the EPA by companies along Alabama’s rivers.

Whiteside said the Shoals area of the Tennessee River is cleaner than other parts because there are not as many large factories along this portion, but that doesn’t mean the area is immune to having chemicals in the water.

“Muscle Shoals is not even safe. There are still tremendous amounts of toxins in this area even though they have a new-age, diverse economy that’s based on creativity rather than extracting resources or discharging pollutants into our watershed,” said Whiteside.

The Tennessee Riverkeeper group is currently in a lawsuit with 3M for allegedly dumping toxins into the river near Decatur.

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