Younan Safar, Linda Safar and Y & S Enterprises have taken Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, one of the US’s biggest oil pipeline and energy storage companies, to court over an alleged petroleum tank storage leak at Kinder Morgan’s site in San Pedro, California, US.
Younan Safar, Linda Safar and Y & S Enterprises believe Kinder Morgan disposed, dumped, spilled, abandoned and released hydrocarbons and other hazardous materials onto their property, contaminating both the soil and groundwater.
Although Kinder Morgan started operating on the site as far back as February 2001 and finished its operations on the base in 2004, the accusers say during this time, when there were 11 above ground storage tanks on the site, contamination damage was done to the surrounding area.
However Kinder Morgan says that when it left the site it decommissioned, emptied and cleaned the area, therefore denying it is responsible for any damages.
The State of California, Department of Toxic Substance Control has asked for Kinder Morgan to undertake an investigation in order to determine the state of the soil at the site now, fixing any environmental damage that has been done.
Younan Safar, Linda Safar and Y & S Enterprises say they took samples of the soil on 6 January 2011 which showed traces of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes. The companies believe that if the soil needs remediation, the process would close their business and damages could climb as high as $30 million (€21.7 million).
The case is due to go to trial on 18 October 2011.