Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Residents sue FirstEnergy over coal-ash impoundment

Little Blue Run coal-ash impoundment - Beaver County Times photo

Nearly 60 West Virginia residents are suing FirstEnergy, claiming that Little Blue Run,
the company’s 1,700-acre impoundment in adjacent Beaver County, Pa is to blame for groundwater pollution, consistently wet yards, shifting home foundations, and mold on
their properties.
Nearly 60 landowners in Hancock County, W.Va filed a October 10 in the U.S. District Court in Wheeling, W. Va., against the Akron-based company on claims of negligence, reckless conduct, trespass and creating a nuisance, the Beaver County Times reports.
The impoundment, which straddles two states, is located in Beaver County, Pa., and Hancock County, W.Va. It has served as the disposal site for Shippingport's Bruce Mansfield coal plant, which has produced 550,000 tons
of fly ash and 98,000 tons of bottom ash per year since 1974, when there were no requirements for lining such an impoundment. 
The lawsuit says the unlined impoundment has leaked arsenic and other substances into groundwater, and the air has been polluted by “noxious odors” from hydrogen sulfide. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection officials have said in the past that sulfate, sodium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, arsenic, selenium and boron have been detected in groundwater near the impoundment.
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