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ConocoPhillips settles Oklahoma City water pollution lawsuit

May 23, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — ConocoPhillips has settled a lawsuit with homeowners in northwestern Oklahoma City who accused the energy company of polluting their water supply and soil to such a degree that no trees or flowers will grow.

The lawsuit, filed in Oklahoma City federal court in 2016, said ConocoPhillips didn’t sufficiently dispose of saltwater overflow from the West Edmond Oil Field.

ConocoPhillips reached a confidential settlement with residents of more than 30 homes in the nearby Clifford Farms subdivision last week, The Oklahoman reported.

″(The) plaintiffs own and reside at (their) property for the purpose of enjoying the unique character of their homes,” the lawsuit states. “In order to enjoy the unique character of their homes, plaintiffs require reasonable access to clean water and soil.”

A ConocoPhillips spokesman said the Houston-based company didn’t admit liability or responsibility in the settlement.

The West Edmond Oil Field was among the most important oil operations in Oklahoma’s history, generating millions of barrels of oil annually through the 1940s, according to the state historical society. The subdivision was built decades after the oil field ceased operations.

The homeowners said ConocoPhillips allowed saltwater, brine and other substances from the oil field to flow into the land and groundwater under the future neighborhood site.

The plaintiffs noted the chloride contained in the neighborhood’s drinking water exceeded the maximum amount advised in Environmental Protection Agency standards. The soil around the homes is too contaminated to cultivate trees, flowers or other landscaping, the lawsuit said.

The homeowners added they were unaware of the poor water and soil quality before they constructed or bought their houses, the lawsuit said.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

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