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Attorneys Rest Case In Federal Trial Over Union Carbide Landfill

20201110_Courtland Supplemental CWA NOV-Filmont & Massey Rail Yard - AS SERVED-11.jpg
Courtesy Courtland Corp.
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An image from the lawsuit filed in federal court against Union Carbide Corp. alleging an illegal landfill is releasing toxic chemicals into Davis Creek and the Kanawha River.

After weeks of testimony, attorneys on both sides of a federal trial involving a Union Carbide landfill in South Charleston have rested their case.

The U.S. District Court in Charleston heard closing arguments Monday in the trial, which began nearly a month ago.

Courtland Co. argued that Union Carbide violated federal law by not applying for, nor receiving the required permit for the Filmont landfill. It says Carbide contaminated its property and Davis Creek with hazardous industrial wastes.

An expert witness, Marshall University Professor Scott Simonton, testified that 17,000 gallons a day of “a soup of nasty contaminants” was leaking from the landfill.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection issued a notice of violation to Union Carbide in October 2020 for seepages from the site Simonton documented.

Union Carbide alleged contamination from construction debris on Courtland’s property and claimed some of the contaminants in Davis Creek came from abandoned coal mines upstream.

The company’s attorneys tried to cast doubt on Simonton’s testimony.

Union Carbide, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical, said it complied with state and federal laws that applied to the landfill. It says it is voluntarily remediating the site.

Cortland has filed four lawsuits since 2018 and seeks civil penalties. U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver will issue a ruling.

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

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