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.