Read the full article by John Bailey (Rome News-Tribune)

A ruling handed down this week will allow a federal lawsuit against companies who have allegedly been dumping large quantities of toxic chemicals in the Oostanaula River to continue.

The lawsuit, Johnson v. 3M, et. al., filed in the Northern District of Georgia federal court, accuses manufacturers in Dalton — including 3M, Mohawk, Shaw Industries and others — of dumping chemicals heavily used in carpet production in the river.

A lawsuit filed by the City of Rome in 2019 in Floyd County Superior Court makes many of the same claims. That lawsuit contends the companies knew the perfluorinated compounds used in their manufacturing were toxic.

Those toxic chemical compounds, PFOA and PFOS, migrated downstream, causing issues in Floyd County and Chattooga County, among others.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Totenberg denied the motions to dismiss, with the exception of some negligence claims, in a voluminous 180-page order.

“After rowing hard down the river of issues, the Court concludes that the majority of Plaintiff’s claims withstand Defendants’ flood of motions to dismiss,” Totenberg wrote in the order’s conclusion.