A lawsuit has been filed and is seeking class action status against the company alleging pipelines leaked into the ground and contaminated land with benzene and xylene. The lawsuit was filed in Roane Circuit Court on behalf of residents and property owners near Roane County in West Virgina.
The lawsuit claims that as a result of normal pressure and temperature changes within Columbia's pipeline, constituents contained in natural gas condensed into a liquid form within the pipeline and may contain benzene and xylene. It alleges soils along the pipeline, in the vicinity of the storage tanks, and in the trash disposal and burn areas have become contaminated with these harmful and carcinogenic substances.
The complaint maintains that Columbia Gas Transportation violated the Federal Resource Conversation and Recovery Act, an actual or threatened release of hazardous subsistence under the Federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.
Columbia has operated a natural gas pipeline system in the northeastern part of the United States since the 1890s. Now, it has about 12,750 miles of such pipeline and 36 natural gas storage fields.