OKLAHOMA CITY — Landowners in Kingfisher County have filed a lawsuit against a railroad company over a chemical spill caused by a train derailment two decades ago.
The Journal Record (http://bit.ly/2eenjnU ) reported that public documents indicate a railcar spilled about 3,300 gallons of carbon tetrachloride in April 1995. The Federal Railroad Administration reported that several cars containing the hazardous materials derailed.
Union Pacific Railroad Co. performed a voluntary cleanup and monitoring of the area, but Gary and Geraldine Mueggenborg said the company hasn’t adequately remediated the spill site.
The Mueggenborgs said the spill migrated to their land, causing a decrease in property value. They also said the spill has impaired their use of the property and caused agricultural losses.
“Union Pacific initially installed air sparging to remediate the groundwater,” said an engineering report prepared last year. “However, the wells did not go deep enough and the plume was wider than first thought, so they removed the system. Union Pacific is now working on two pilot studies to remedy the situation.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the spilled chemical known as carbon tetrachloride is now banned from use in consumer products, but has been previously used as a pesticide, cleaning agent and in production of refrigerant and aerosol propellant.
The claims against the company include public and private nuisance, trespass, negligence and unjust enrichment. The Mueggenborgs have asked for at least $75,000 in damages.
A Union Pacific spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said the company continues to work with Oklahoma to remediate the spill.
Information from: The Journal Record, http://www.journalrecord.com