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'No Hazardous Wastes' At Landfill, Union Carbide Witness Testifies

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Union Carbide’s remediation expert, Jerome Cibrik, testified Wednesday in U.S. District Court that “there are no hazardous wastes” present at the Filmont Landfill in South Charleston.

That’s in spite of the company’s own reports that show high levels of toxic chemicals in groundwater samples taken from the site.

The trial began Wednesday in federal court in Charleston. Courtland Co., which owns property adjacent to the landfill, has filed four lawsuits against Union Carbide since 2018. Courtland is seeking to force Carbide to pay civil penalties.
The site was used as a landfill from the 1950s to the 1980s. Cibrik testified that the company, now a subsidiary of Dow Chemical, has no record of hazardous waste being put there.

Cibrik’s deposition in 2019 first revealed the landfill’s existence. In 2020, Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr. unsealed documents showing the company had been testing the site for years.

Cibrik testified Wednesday that Union Carbide met with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection starting in 2010 to informally discuss remediation of the site.

Union Carbide never formally reported the landfill to DEP, nor the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Courtland’s lawsuits allege that Carbide violated state and federal law by not reporting the landfill.

Testing has shown chemicals present in the landfill are seeping into the adjacent Davis Creek, a tributary of the Kanawha River.

Energy & Environment Reporter, ctate@wvpublic.org, 202-679-8470, @tatecurtis

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