Ohio River Claim

 

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Success Story

Claim Against Ohio Industrial Plant Settled

A ferroalloy manufacturing facility discharges treated wastewater into the Ohio River under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued by the Ohio EPA. A Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) claim was brought against the plant by state and federal trustees. The defendants retained a LimnoTech senior scientist as an expert witness to resolve the claim.

Problem

The NRDA claim alleged that wastewater discharges from the plant caused harm to mussels, fish and snails in the Ohio River, and violated the Clean Water Act (CWA).

Approach

Supported by scientific and engineering staff, the LimnoTech expert reviewed hydrometeorological, water quality and living resources data, and numerous expert and rebuttal reports produced by the plaintiffs. LimnoTech staff also reviewed hydrodynamic and sediment transport models developed by the plaintiffs’ experts, conducted test runs with the models, and compared model results to actual data. Expert and supplemental reports were prepared, deposition by opposing counsel was provided, and the expert attended the deposition of the plaintiffs’ expert witness.

Result

A settlement decision was reached, resolving claims that the alleged release of hazardous substances caused injuries to natural resources. Based on site-specific data and sound science, the settlement represented a significant cost savings for the defendants. The conclusions in the expert report withstood rigorous adversarial scrutiny and contributed to the substantial discount achieved in the settlement.