Columbia Agrees to Costly Upgrade of Sewage System and Settles Federal Pollution Lawsuit
The City of Columbia has agreed to make $750 million in changes and upgrades to its sewer system after a federal pollution lawsuit alleged that the city violated the federal Clean Water Act.
The settlement was announced on Tuesday, September 10th, by the US Justice Department, US Environmental Protection Agency, and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. The agreement provided $1 million to restore streams, reduce flooding, and improve water quality in parts of Rocky Beach, Smith Branch, and Gills Creek.
In the federal pollution lawsuit settlement, the city also agreed to the following:
- First, the city must do an assessment and rehabilitation of their current system to address raw sewage that could be overflowing now.
- Second, the city will take that assessment and develop projects and upgrades to infrastructure to prevent further problems. These programs will add to the upgrades the city already had in progress.
- Third, the city will create new programs to make sure their water treatment system is properly maintained and operated over the long-term.
“In this settlement, the city of Columbia has taken responsibility for its aging sewer treatment system,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina Bill Nettles.
“This settlement will bring badly needed improvements to Columbia’s aging sewer infrastructure, reduce the dangers of sewage contamination and improve the quality of waterways in historically disadvantaged communities,” said Robert G. Dreher, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division.
Federal Pollution Lawsuits and Toxic Torts Help Protect Citizens
A toxic tort involves the exposure of individuals, often in large numbers, to harmful chemical or biological substances, including radioactive material, harsh chemicals, or sewage. Citizens can file toxic torts or whistleblower lawsuits on behalf of the federal government, which can turn into federal pollution lawsuits involving the federal Clean Air and Water Acts.
When this exposure results in serious injuries or health problems and you can show that those problems were caused by the negligence or carelessness of others, the law says that those who are injured or suffered the loss of a loved one due to wrongful death are entitled to compensation.
Toxic tort cases can be challenging. There are often multiple parties at fault and any legal claim must consider all avenues of potential liability making it extremely important to select a toxic tort law firm with experience necessary to successfully pursue a claim.
Exposure to toxic leaks and toxic substances can have lifelong effects. Whether you have been exposed to:
- toxic substances on the job,
- Exposure to contaminated ground water or air,
- Exposure resulting from accidental spills or improper disposal of toxic waste,
- Household chemicals including disinfectants,
- Industrial chemicals including solvents,
- toxic medical products and devices or
- Exposure to radiation
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Toxic Torts and Whistleblower Federal Pollution Lawsuits
If you or a loved one were exposed to a toxic leak or substance and suffered injury, contact the toxic tort attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. to discuss your situation in more detail and for further information about our practice. We welcome co-counsel opportunities and regularly accept referrals in toxic tort cases, federal pollution lawsuits, or whistleblower lawsuits from lawyers practicing in other parts of the country. We also offer free, confidential consultations so you can discuss the facts of your case safely and with impunity. Contact us for help today. 803.252.4800