Legal

Judge Takes Away Chicago Suburb's Water Fund Control

CHICAGO (AP) — A judge has taken away a Chicago suburb’s control over its water fund after determining the city’s officials engaged in illegal conduct over several years. Cook County Circuit Judge Kathleen Pantle noted in a ruling Wednesday that millions of dollars were missing and another $26 mill..

Ex-Water Corporation Contractor Sentenced in Kickback Scheme

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A former contractor for the company that oversaw Newark’s water services has been sentenced to two years in prison for his role in a kickback scheme. Eighty-year-old James Porter, of East Orange, was sentenced on Thursday after previously pleading guilty to giving kickbacks to a..

Judge Denies Water Crisis Legal Settlement

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A federal judge has declined to grant preliminary approval to a $151 million settlement stemming from a 2014 chemical spill that sparked a water crisis in West Virginia. Local news outlets report Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr. said in an order Thursday that he wants changes t..

Lawsuits Challenge Ambitious California Water Tunnels

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown’s ambitious plans to build two massive tunnels, reengineering the hub of California’s water system, would destroy native fish species already on the brink of extinction, lawsuits filed Thursday said. The $16 billion proposed tunnels along the state’s largest r..

Trial Delay Sought for Former Utility Regulator, 3 Others

PHOENIX (AP) — Trial for a former Arizona utility regulator accused of accepting payments from a water company owner in exchange for a boost in rates will likely be delayed. Federal prosecutors and attorneys for former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce and three others agreed to th..

Michigan Health Chief Charged in Flint Water Crisis Probe

Five people, including the head of Michigan’s health department, were charged Wednesday with involuntary manslaughter in an investigation of Flint’s lead-contaminated water, all blamed in the death of an 85-year-old man who had Legionnaires’ disease. Nick Lyon is the highest-ranking member of Repub..

Environmental Groups Sue over Pipeline Permitting Decisions

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Several environmental groups are suing the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality over part of the permitting process for two proposed natural gas pipelines. The Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition, Bold Alliance and Preserve Craig Inc. filed suit this week in Richmond..

Ex-Regulator Pleads Not Guilty in Influence-peddling Case

PHOENIX (AP) — A former elected Arizona utility regulator pleaded not guilty Wednesday to bribery and fraud charges accusing him of accepting thousands of dollars in payments from a water company owner in exchange for favorable treatment in a rate case. Former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary ..

Judge Approves Partial Settlement in Water Lawsuit

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — A federal judge has approved a partial settlement in a lawsuit over contaminated drinking water in north Alabama. The Decatur Daily (http://bit.ly/2q6ooEA ) reports that U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon has approved a $5 million payment by Daikin America to end its part of the ..

$850,000 Stolen from Rural Water Association in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former office manager is accused of siphoning some $850,000 from a rural drinking water system that serves thousands of people in southeastern New Mexico, the state auditor’s office said Tuesday. State Auditor Tim Keller confirmed that his office has forwarded information..

Utility to Pay $8.5 Million to Settle Suit Over Gas Blowout

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Southern California Gas Co. agreed Wednesday to pay $8.5 million to settle a lawsuit over a well blowout that spewed natural gas for nearly four months and drove thousands of residents from their Los Angeles homes. The utility signed an agreement with the South Coast Air Qu..

Pennsylvania School District Sued Over Lead in Water

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A western Pennsylvania school district where high levels of lead in an elementary school’s water went unresolved for months faces a federal lawsuit. The school, Summit Elementary, was closed for two days in January after the district superintendent says he learned the proble..

More Charges Filed in Flint Water Crisis Probe

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — More charges have been filed by Michigan’s attorney general in the investigation into the lead-tainted water crisis in Flint, Michigan, including against two former state-appointed emergency managers. Attorney General Bill Schuette on Tuesday charged former emergency manag..

New Hampshire Residents Sue Over Upgraded Wastewater Treatment Plant

PORTSMOUTH (AP) — A group of residents in Portsmouth have sued the city, state, and federal government, saying an upgraded wastewater treatment plant under construction lacks the capacity to handle sewer needs. The Portsmouth Herald reports the group filed the suit in federal court in Concord on We..

Companies Fault Sewer Pipes for Groundwater Pollution

BETHANY, Okla. (AP) — Two companies that operated a now closed aerospace plant argue that groundwater pollutants threatening to contaminate the city of Bethany’s municipal water supply are a result of the city’s 67-year-old clay sewer pipes, not the shuttered plant. A plume of the solvent tetrach..

Trial Set to Begin in Florida and Georgia's Fight Over Water

ATLANTA (AP) – Florida and Georgia this week are taking their long-standing fight over the supply of water in their shared watershed to court. The result could affect millions of people and major industries in both states. The dispute focuses on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. The..

'Ghost Claims' Complicate Water Rights in South Dakota

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A looming dispute over water rights near Rapid City highlights a thorny issue facing South Dakota: How to handle claims so old or outdated that one expert calls them “ghost claims.” The case at hand involves a stretch of Rapid Creek. The Rapid City Journal reports (http://bi..

Coalition Threatens St. Pete with Lawsuit over Sewage Spill

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – A coalition of environmental groups is threatening to sue the city of St. Petersburg over a sewage spill. The Tampa Bay Times reports that environmental nonprofits gave notice to the city Thursday that they will file a federal lawsuit under the Clean Water Act if the cit..

Former North Carolina Employee Accused of Falsifying Water Tests

CARY, N.C. (AP) — A former Cary employee has pleaded guilty after an investigation revealed that he falsified documents on more than 275 water sample tests. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement that 41-year-old Christopher Dale Miller of Cary pleaded guilty Monday to making false statemen..

Alabama Utility Sues Companies Over Water Pollution

GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) — Gadsden’s Water Works and Sewer Board has filed a lawsuit against more than 30 carpet and textile companies over pollution in the city’s water supply. The lawsuit, filed Thursday, says the companies are responsible for two chemicals in the city’s water supply, which has resulte..

Lawsuit: Utility Misled Company into Building $100M Pipeline

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A company that had planned to buy carbon dioxide from Mississippi Power Co.’s Kemper County power plant has sued, alleging the utility misled it into building a $100 million pipeline. Treetop Midstream Services, an affiliate of an oil company that planned to pump carbon dioxid..