Federal Lawsuit Blames Airport Runway Project for Water Contamination Crisis

By: The Associated Press Email
By: The Associated Press Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Charleston's airport could claim sovereign immunity in a lawsuit saying the airport was partly to blame for a tap-water contaminating chemical spill.

According to media reports, Yeager Airport would argue it can't be sued as a government agency. A Yeager lawyer and board member announced the strategy at a board meeting Wednesday.

A federal lawsuit blames the airport's now-complete runway project for the January chemical spill that left 300,000 residents without clean water for days.

The lawsuit says Yeager never safeguarded against stormwater runoff, which let water flow to Freedom Industries and erode a tank's foundation.

Officials say holes in the bottom of the tank led to the leak.

The airport's insurance policy will cover most legal costs in the case. The airport has hired outside legal representation.

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