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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

BP, other former Texas refinery operators face lawsuit over cost of Superfund site remediation

State Court

By Marian Johns | Aug 7, 2019

Star Lake Canal

BEAUMONT, Texas (Legal Newsline) — Bridgestone Americas, along with several other companies and the Jefferson County Texas Drainage District that have a cooperative interest in the remediation of Texas' Star Lake Canal Superfund Site, are suing the current owner and former operators of an adjacent refinery for contamination cleanup costs. 

According to a July 23 U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas filing, plaintiffs Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC, Cytec Industries Inc., Goodrich Corp., Huntsman Petrochemical LLC, Jefferson County Drainage District No. 7, KMG Bernuth Inc., Michelin North America Inc. and Texaco Inc., filed suit against Atlantic Richfield Co., BP America Inc., BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. and Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA Inc. citing the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act.

The plaintiffs, who are working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of a 2016 settlement agreement and administrative order on consent for remedial design on the Star Lake Canal Superfund site, claim the defendants' contribution to the site's contamination is cause for their contribution to the remediation efforts. 

According to the suit, the site includes open water canals and bayous along developing wetlands that have been shown to contain hazardous and chemical substances caused by the current owners of a nearby refinery, Total Petrochemicals & Refining, as well as previous operators of the refinery, which dates to 1936. The Superfund site is located in Jefferson County, Texas.

The plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment against the defendants for equitable percentage share of the costs to remediate the site as well as the litigation costs for the suit. They are represented by Michael S. Linscott of Doerner, Saunders, Daniel and Anderson in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas case number 1:19-cv-00312

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Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas