Pollution suit settled with drilling waste treatment plant in Wa - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Pollution suit settled with drilling waste treatment plant in Warren

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WARREN, Ohio -

An environmental watchdog group has announced the settlement of a federal lawsuit that accused the city of Warren and an oil and gas waste disposal facility in the city of violating standards for chemicals being allowed to flow into the Mahoning River.

The Michigan-based, Fresh Water Accountability Project filed a civil action in 2017 alleging that Warren's Water Pollution Control Department and Patriot Water Treatment violated the federal Clean Water Act.

Attorneys for Fresh Water Accountability and Patriot Water Treatment filed a notice in U.S. District Court last week saying they had reached a settlement to resolve all of the claims.  The city of Warren settled earlier.

Terms of the settlement have not been released.  District Court Judge Benita Pearson has given both sides until March 11 to file a notice of dismissal. 

The Patriot Water Treatment facility, located at 2840 Sferra Avenue, accepts and pre-treats wastewater from oil and gas producers extracting from the Marcellus and Utica shale using the hydraulic fracturing process, in addition to wastewater from other industrial users, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says Patriot sends the treated water to the city's treatment plant, which ultimately carries the treated liquid into the Mahoning River.

The group says that Patriot and the city violated several federal and local water pretreatment standards and limits, ultimately allowing water exceeding clean water standards to be sent into the river,

The suit accused the city of failing to develop and enforce local limits for Barium, alleging that it passes through the water pollution control plant and into the Mahoning River.

The EPA says acute exposure to barium can cause gastrointestinal problems and muscle weakness. Long-term exposure can result in hypertension.

The lawsuit cited compliance reports which Freshwater Accountability said documented that “Patriot has repeatedly exceeded standards in its Administrative Order for Zinc, Molybdenum, Ammonia, chemical oxygen demand, total suspended Solids, and total dissolved solids.”

The Fresh Water Accountability Project says its local members are being exposed to threats to their health and welfare due to alleged violations of the Clean Water Act by Patriot and the city.

The suit is asked for civil penalties, and a court order to halt the alleged infractions.

21 News has reached out to the Fresh Water Accountability Project seeking terms of the settlement.

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