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Energy & Environment

Judge Sides With Union Carbide In Lawsuit Over Water Pollution From South Charleston Landfill

20201110_Courtland Supplemental CWA NOV-Filmont & Massey Rail Yard - AS SERVED-4.jpg
The Filmont Landfill from documents submitted to federal court by lawyers for the Courtland Company.

A federal judge in Charleston has ruled in favor of Union Carbide in a lawsuit.

In a 90-page decision published Monday, Senior U.S. District Court Judge John Copenhaver denied an application for a temporary restraining order by the Courtland Co.

Courtland is suing Union Carbide over pollution from an industrial landfill in South Charleston into two streams near property both companies own. The court’s decision means the company won’t be required to take immediate action to stop water pollution from the landfill.

Courtland’s attorneys filed the request in February. They also filed a lawsuit alleging the site was in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.

“The main goal is to get a judge to order Union Carbide to stop polluting the people of South Charleston, and polluting my client's property,” attorney Mike Callaghan said in February. He represents Courtland in the suit.

Copenhaver held a three-day hearing on Courtland’s request in late February and early March.

Union Carbide argued that the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection should oversee the case, not federal regulators.

In his decision, Copenhaver agreed.

State officials in October issued a violation against Union Carbide under the West Virginia Water Pollution Control Act based on evidence that the landfill was polluting the streams. The company appealed, and a hearing is set for May 13.

Courtland has filed a total of three lawsuits against Union Carbide since 2018 over the South Charleston industrial landfill.


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