Heavy Metal Contamination from Coal-Fired Power Plant

Acknowledgement to XL Environmental

An XL-insured coal-fired power plant stored baghouse dusts containing heavy metals in an uncovered dumpster behind the facility. Whenever it rained, storm water mixed with the dust, forming a slurry, which eventually migrated off-site. Contamination to an adjoining, third-party property was determined to have occurred over the course of several years. These releases were identified during a regulatory agency compliance inspection.

XL’s environmental claims counsel and a technical consultant handled the claim for our insured. Off-site soil sampling demonstrated high levels of lead, cadmium and mercury heavy metal concentrations. The contamination was determined to be storm water run-off from the dumpster. The regulatory agency issued a $400,000 fine, required additional site investigation and remediation to the adjacent property.

XL also helped the insured assess its other facilities for the same issue and retained a third-party consultant who issued recommendations in an effort to help prevent a similar occurrence at other insured locations.

The insured’s Pollution and Remediation Legal Liability Policy paid in excess of $250,000 in a settlement for the costs and expenses associated with remediation of the adjacent property. An early settlement of the claim helped to preserve the insured’s policy limits. The insured also implemented the third-party consultant’s recommendations for its other facilities.

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