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Alabama Department of Transportation

Montgomery, AL: (Jul-28-07) A series of lawsuits were filed against the state by residents in the Chisholm, Eastern Meadows, and Vista View communities, alleging that they were not informed of their houses being above a toxic underground plume. Groundwater contaminated with trichloroethylene, or TCE, was discovered in 1999 in the North Montgomery area. The Department of Transportation used the TCE to test asphalt decades ago. The department disposed of the TCE according to the manufacturer's instructions, by pouring it into the sewer outside its Bureau of Materials and Testing at 3700 Fairground Road. The chemical then leaked into the groundwater beneath that property. The groundwater contaminated with TCE is 15 feet to 80 feet below the surface.

In a settlement reached, the Alabama Department of Transportation agreed to pay a total of about $3.5 million to more than 1,500 residents whose houses were above a toxic underground plume. Part of the Highland Gardens neighborhood, most of the Garden Square community and the Montgomery Business Park are within the boundaries of an expanded plume area, which includes its expected spread in the next 30 years and a buffer zone of 100 feet. The Alabama Department of Transportation mailed about 300 letters to property owners who might not be aware of groundwater restrictions placed on their land as part of the court settlement. [MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER: UNDERGROUND PLUME]

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Published on Jul-30-07


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