Jun 11, 2007

Municipal Company Must Pay Family $830,000 After Spill

A municipal water and sewer company agreed to pay $830,000 to a South Carolina family whose community fishing and swimming pond was polluted after one of the worst chemical spills in South Carolina’s history.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the Macaulays sued the Lexington County Joint Municipal Water and Sewer Commission, claiming that it did not properly oversee wastewater discharges by Tin Products, a maker of chemicals used in vinyl siding and plastic plumbing that is no longer in business.

The company agreed to pay the fee without admitting responsibility for any damage that was done to the pond.

The spill in 2000 contaminated a 12-mile stretch of the Red Bank Creek and the Congaree River, which ended up killing fish and shutting down Cayce's water treatment plant.

The pond was deemed safe by environmental officials in 2004, but the Macaulay’s still do not allow swimming and fishing.

The Houston Chronicle reports that in 2006 a jury recommended that the Lexington County sewer authority receive $20 million in damages from Tin Products and also awarded $1.7 in actual damages. Sewer officials have said that none of that money has been recovered.

After the spill, two company executives were sent to prison, while one other employee was put on probation.