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Debunking a State’s Allegation of Water Contamination

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Key Facts

  • Our client was alleged to be responsible for the contamination of a public water supply
  • We led an investigation of the state’s theory
  • The state abandoned its claims

The Situation

Our client was alleged to be responsible for the contamination of a public water supply. The state’s theory was that decades earlier, former employees had brought home industrial wastes and dumped them in their backyards, resulting in the contamination. By the time the company was informed of the state’s theory, the state had already conducted an extensive subsurface investigation of the area that it believed substantiated its theory, which it had publicly announced.

The Approach

To revisit the state's claims, we led an investigation of the state’s theory that included locating and identifying former employees of the client’s former facility, which had closed decades earlier. We also worked with one of the nation’s leading hydrogeologists to understand and ultimately debunk the state’s theory of how the water supply had been contaminated.

The Outcome

The state abandoned its claims against the client.

Supporting Professionals

Jeff Porter, the Chair of our Environmental Law Practice, worked with Andy Nathanson, Counsel in our Litigation Practice, and a team of environmental lawyers and litigators.