Attorney general

January 10, 2013

A decade later, massive civil case against oil companies ready to proceed

Source: New Hampshire Union Leader, January 8, 2013
By: Dave Solomon

George W. Bush was in his first term, Facebook didn’t exist and Barack Obama was still an Illinois state senator when the state of New Hampshire sued 22 oil and gas companies in late 2003, claiming their use of the gasoline additive MTBE caused groundwater contamination throughout the Granite State.

Then-Attorney General Peter Heed asked for a jury trial to determine if the companies should be required to pay for testing every public and private water supply, eliminate MTBE pollution where it is found, and monitor all water supplies for future contamination.

A decade later, the trial is about to get under way in Concord on Monday, but not in Superior Court as originally requested. The case has grown so large, involves so many attorneys, and is expected to take so much time, that it has been moved to Federal District Court in Concord, known as the Warren B. Rudman United States Courthouse.

“It’s simply a matter of space,” said William McGraw, chief clerk for Merrimack County Superior Court. “If we were to take a courtroom here and dedicate it to one single civil case for six months, we would not be able to get to the criminal cases, let alone the other civil cases.”

The state of New Hampshire vs. Amerada Hess, et. al., will be tried as a Superior Court case; only the courtroom location has changed. The defendants attempted over the years to have the case transferred to a federal jurisdiction, but failed. They also tried to restrict their liability to contamination of public, but not private, water supplies. They lost that case as well.…

August 3, 2011

Kingsbury junkyard owner settles pollution case with state

Source: http://poststar.com, August 2, 2011
By: Lydia Wheeler

The state has reached a settlement with the owners of a Kingsbury junkyard and the owner of a company that crushed cars at the site over environmental damage caused by pollution from the junkyard operations, the state Attorney General’s Office announced Tuesday.

Under the settlement, James Marro, owner of East Side Used Auto Parts, and his company are both required to perform a complete pollution cleanup.

Marro and George Moore, owner of Northern Car Crushers, the company that crushed cars at the site, must also pay more than $330,000 in penalties and restitution to the state, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

“Illegal operations at this junkyard put the health and safety of the community at risk by repeatedly and recklessly polluting the environment,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in a press release. “This settlement ensures that the damage to the community is repaired, and those responsible are penalized for their unlawful actions. We are sending a clear message that polluters who disregard our state’s environmental protection laws and put New Yorkers in harm’s way will be held accountable.”…

March 28, 2011

Building owner guilty in asbestos case

Source: http://www.telegram.com, March 26, 2011
By: Martin Luttrell

The owner of the Bancroft Commons apartment building downtown pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston yesterday to the improper removal and disposal of asbestos and for failing to provide pay records and evading unemployment insurance payments.

Worcester Commons LLC and JM Realty Management Inc., real estate development and property management companies, and their president, John McGrail, pleaded guilty and were sentenced to probation, according to state Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Mr. McGrail contended that his companies did not intend to improperly dispose of construction materials, and that the allegations were initiated by undisclosed union workers whom he did not hire. …

March 21, 2011

Company accused of illegal dumping

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 18, 2011

State prosecutors charged a Greene County man Thursday with illegally dumping millions of gallons of Marcellus Shale wastewater, sewer sludge and greasy restaurant slop in holes, mine shafts and waterways in a six-county region from 2003 to 2009.

“He was pouring the stuff in any hole he could find,” said Nils Frederiksen, spokesman for the attorney general’s office.

All the while, an investigating grand jury indicated, Robert Allan Shipman was building his bank account, earning up to $7 million a year, according to the presentment.

The grand jury recommended 98 criminal charges against Mr. Shipman, 49, of New Freeport and 77 counts against his company, Allan’s Waste Water Service Inc. for their alleged actions — sometimes under cover of darkness or during heavy rains — in Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland counties.…

March 9, 2011

Wisconsin Attorney General Lautenschlager Announces Settlement of Environmental Lawsuit Against Watertown Tire Recyclers

Source: http://www.envirovaluation.org, June 8, 2006

Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager announced today that her office has filed a complaint and settlement in an environmental protection enforcement lawsuit against Watertown Tire Recyclers LLC for violations of the state’s solid waste management laws. The Dodge County company will pay $320,000 in penalties and costs for violations at its tire recycling facility (now closed) on Provimi Road in the Town of Shields. The settlement is a global agreement that resolves claims by the State as well as by Citizens for a Safe Environment, the Town of Shields, the City of Watertown, Dodge County and 94 other local entities that responded to a fire at the Watertown Tire Recyclers facility last July. The settlement provides for payment of $267,893.21 to the local responders, $31,000 to the Department of Natural Resources for its fire response costs, and $21,106.79 to the State in forfeitures and surcharges. The settlement provides that Thomas Springer shall guarantee the payments, and binds Springer and Springer Express Freight, which currently operates a tire collection and transportation business at the Provimi Road site, to the essential terms of the settlement. The settlement sets limits on the hours of operation of the current business at the Provimi Road site, and provides for quarterly unannounced inspections of the site by the Department of Natural Resources. According to the settlement, the tire collection and transportation business will end by 2010, and all existing rights to non-permitted uses at the Provimi Road site, which is in an A-1 agricultural zoning district, will also end in 2010. … In addition to paying the $320,000, Watertown Tire Recyclers and Thomas Springer have agreed to remove all contaminated soil remaining on the Provimi Road site after the fire, and to dispose of it at an area landfill. According to Lautenschlager, the proper disposal of that soil will cost Springer $75,000. “Mr. Springer’s agreement to complete the cleanup of the property, his extensive cleanup efforts since the fire, and his participation in this settlement signal his commitment to operate in compliance with state and local laws that protect public health and safety and the environment,” she said. According to the Department of Justice’s complaint, prior to the fire in July 2005, Watertown Tire Recyclers exceeded its allowed volume of tires, failed to maintain adequate fire lanes, stored tires improperly, and failed to submit required reports and to notify the Department of Natural Resources of problems and changes. According to DOJ, the facility is currently in compliance with DNR requirements.…

July 23, 2010

Texas Sues BP for Refinery Pollution

Texas’ Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against BP for violating the state’s pollution laws. The civil lawsuit cites 46 releases of pollution at the refinery, including those associated with a 2005 explosion that killed 15 employees and injured 180 others. Unspecified monetary damages are sought for each day each violation occurred, in addition to legal fees for the cost of the lawsuit and civil penalties. BP has already invested over $1 billion in people and processes to decrease pollution at the facility.…