A group of Maryland residents whose drinking water was contaminated with coal ash reached a multimillion-dollar settlement of its class action lawsuit against Constellation Energy Group.
The deal, estimated at $45 million, gives about 600 residents living near a sand and gravel mine financial compensation and environmental remediation.
For 12 years Constellation worked with a contractor to dump billions of tons of waste ash from its Brandon Shores coal-fired power plant into an unlined former gravel mine pit. County tests found that 23 wells in the area tested positive for metals such as arsenic, cadmium and thallium, all components of waste ash from smokestacks, also called “fly ash.”
A suit was filed in November 2007 in Baltimore Circuit Court to make Constellation pay unspecified damages for personal injuries and loss of property values.
Under the settlement, 84 homes – previously connected to private wells, some of which tested positive for contaminants – will be hooked up to a public water system at a cost of $7.5 million paid for by Constellation.
Residents of those households also will have access to a $9.5 million trust fund for claims and to provide site enhancements. A second fund, for $500,000, will be established for adjoining property owners.
The settlement also covers an unspecified amount for remediation and restoration of the former quarry site and a commitment to cease future deliveries of coal ash.
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Legal Analysis: What is wrong with these people? How would like to live next to a toxic dump and drink polluted water? These guys should have been closed down and fined into bankruptcy. Where is the moral outrage?