Meridian Star

New Today

October 1, 2013

City of Hattiesburg sues Hercules over pollution

HATTIESBURG —

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — The City of Hattiesburg is suing Hercules Inc. and parent company Ashland Inc., claiming groundwater contamination from a closed factory may leach into the city's water supply.

The city filed suit Thursday in federal court in Hattiesburg.

"The city is exercising its right and taking the opportunity to protect its citizens and protecting revenues it may cost to deal with this contamination," City Attorney Charles Lawrence told the Hattiesburg American. (http://hatne.ws/16Dtbj2)

Ten residents and a church sued in October, alleging pollution in nearby neighborhoods. The company, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have been testing for pollution at wells within a half-mile radius of the former chemical plant as well as on the site.

Gary Rhodes, a spokesman for Ashland, says the company is reviewing the lawsuit.

"We will continue to work cooperatively and constructively with MDEQ and EPA," Rhodes wrote in an email Monday. "We will also continue to share information with the local community about our progress and proposed plans for the site. Hercules is committed to a safe and effective cleanup of the former plant that is protective of the health of the community."

"For approximately 90 years, Hercules used, generated and disposed of a virtual toxic soup of contaminants from the facility without taking adequate measures to avoid contaminating groundwater, surface water soils and sediments," states the suit. "Defendants now intend to leave the mess that it made in place so that current and future generations of Hattiesburg residents will bear the costs of its irresponsible behavior toward the environment."

The suit states that the contamination continues to spread from the plant into the nearby air, groundwater and soil.

The shallow groundwater beneath the facility is found between 5 to 22 feet below surface. It is separated from the aquifer the city draws its drinking water from by a thick layer of clay, the complaint states.

Text Only
New Today
Biz Marquee
New Today
Poll

Do you think the city of Meridian gave residents adequate notice before beginning to drain Long Creek Reservoir?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide