“In the course of further review we found something that is particularly alarming,” said William Goodell, Environmental Lawyer.
Back in 2016, Goodell filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Salvation Army against the Union Pacific Railroad Company.
“For their contaminated sight in downtown Lafayette next to the drinking water intake,” said Goodell.
New findings prompted the environmental lawyer to hold a press conference on Monday afternoon.
“We’ve got a direct connection between Union Pacific operations and Benzene,” said Goodell.
Benzene is a contamanite that mostly enters water as discharge from industrial factories or filters from landfills and gas storage tanks.
“Benzene was found in the Chicot Aquifer,” claimed Goodell.
“The whole idea is absurd, to spring this on us and our citizens this way. People depend on LUS to be a provider of reliable water service and we have done so,” said Trerry Huval, LUS, Director.
He also claims that documents dating back to 1994, prove that the chemical was used in one spot of the rail yards operations. Goodell says, it hasn’t been addressed since.
“Or the potential for seepage into the Chicot that may have occurred in other areas,” said Goodell.
The lawyer says documents also show that regulators, like the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, ordered a clean up take place. However, it never happened.
“We’re not going away until we get this rail yard cleaned up,” said Goodell.
“We can assure the public that LUS water is safe to drink. We have been complaint with environmental regulations from DEQ and DHH and the Environmental Protection Agency, and we do not show any indication that our water is contaminated. It is safe to drink,” said Tracy Mouton, Environmental Compliance, LUS.