Officials say litigation possible after water treatments - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Officials say litigation possible after water treatments

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The company at the center of a spill that contaminated drinking water in West Virginia says no other chemicals were leaked.

This comes after environmental regulators gave freedom industries a deadline of Wednesday afternoon to say so.  

Officials say they found out on Tuesday, that a second toxic chemical, besides mchm, was also leaked. They say the a delay in disclosing the second chemical is unacceptable.

But now, the city of Evansville could sue to recoup the cost of treating the chemical plume as it passed through the city.

City officials decided to treat the water with carbon when that chemical plume arrived in the Ohio River. It was a very expensive treatment, but one they say was worth the investment to make sure the water was safe.

But now, the Director of the Evansville Water Utility, Allen Mounts, confirms to 14 News that there will certainly be litigation in the future over the expenses.
     
Evansville is about 700 miles downstream from where the chemical spill took place. Since the chemicals were undetected once the plume arrived, Evansville didn't have to use as much carbon as other cities.
     
But that extra treatment, on top of overtime, was an unplanned expense for the city, and it's money they're looking to get back.

"The chemical spill as it traveled down the Ohio River caused the upstream utilities to incur significant expenses both in additional treatment as well as overtime to mitigate the impact of the chemical to remove it from the water. The upstream cost to those utilities would be significant, as well as it would be litigation for any individuals, particularly in the West Virginia area, who would be seeking recovery for any damages they may be claiming there," Mounts says.

Several lawsuits are expected, and because of that, Mounts says it could take years to get the money back.

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