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Pa., W.Va. landowners sue FirstEnergy over groundwater pollution



Published: Tue, October 15, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.

More than 50 West Virginia and Pennsylvania property owners are suing FirstEnergy over groundwater pollution, soggy yards and foundation damage they blame on a leaking coal ash impoundment and the 7-mile waste pipeline that feeds it.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Wheeling accuses the Ohio-based power company of negligence, reckless conduct, trespass and creating a nuisance. The plaintiffs demand unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

FirstEnergy had not formally received the complaint as of Monday afternoon, spokeswoman Stephanie Walton said in an email, but a closure plan for the unlined 1,700-acre Little Blue Run impoundment is under review by Pennsylvania regulators.

The planning and design work for a gradual shutdown of the facility straddling Beaver County, Pa., and Hancock County, W.Va., already is underway, she said.

The pit takes waste from the coal-fired Bruce Mansfield power plant in Shippingport, Pa., which is run by subsidiary First-Energy Solutions Corp. The complaint says the pit holds more than 20 billion gallons of slurry, a soupy mix of combustion waste products.


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