LCUB settles PCB lawsuit
Kim Johnson - Farragut Press Thu, Jan, 3, 2008

Lenoir City Utilities Board unanimously voted to settle a lawsuit regarding polychlorinated biphenyls contamination at Carolina Transformer/Faytranco in North Carolina at its monthly meeting held Monday, Dec. 17, at Lenoir City Town Hall.

LCUB Assistant Manager Shannon Littleton, who also is Lenoir City’s city attorney, said, “That is the cost of doing business. Someone has contaminated the soil with P-C-Bs and L-CUB was a participant of some sort. The E-P-A is involved and some other cities and utilities are involved in the same lawsuit and we determined that it was in our best interest to go ahead and settle the lawsuit.”

PCBs, which are mainly found in transformers and capacitors manufactured prior to 1977, were determined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agen-cy to be hazardous waste and banned from manufacturing.

“There was a site in North Carolina [Carolina Transfor-mer/Faytranco] that LCUB had sent some transformers to [for reconditioning] and it has been determined there was some contamination at that particular site.

“The plaintiff is probably going to be the E-P-A. It’s a convoluted matter. There is also a participant group of other utilities that have decided to settle the lawsuit with the E-P-A, they can potentially be a plaintiff against L-C-U-B if we do not settle the lawsuit, so there are potentially two plaintiffs out there,” Littleton said.

He added LCUB has not yet determined its liability in the suit.

“It is a $33 million lawsuit. From my understanding the participant’s liability is around $10 million and that is spread out among probably 250 or so participants,” he said.

In other business LCUB:

• Authorized the wastewater department to seek bids for construction on a project to recondition the Loveday pump station.

• Approved a professional engineering contract from Lamar Dunn & Associates, Inc. for services on the Water Master Plan Phase I and Hotchkiss Valley waterline.

• Accepted a bid from Chuck Mason Equipment Sales, Inc. of $33,900 for a new backhoe.

• Awarded a contract to Valmont as lowest and best bidder for the purchase of 48 utility poles for $48,856.