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Friday, June 14, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Cancer Sufferers Blame Nuclear Industry

PITTSBURGH (CN) - Twenty-one people say they got cancers, some of them fatal, from air and water pollution and toxic waste dumped from a nuclear processing plant east of Pittsburgh. They claim that Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, B&W Technical Services and Atlantic Richfield Co. have "never, in their entire history, operated in compliance with applicable state, local and federal laws."

The plaintiffs live in and around Parks Township, in the Kiskiminetas Valley, about 30 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

In their federal complaint, they say radioactive pollutants, including lead, radium, plutonium and uranium, were released as close as 50 feet from homes, and then were drunk, inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

The citizens' list of diseases includes thyroid cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, kidney cancer, myxofibrosarcoma, gastric cancer, macroglobulinemia, a gastrointestinal stromal tumor, chronic lymphatic leukemia, brain tumors, colorectal cancer, skin cancer, bladder cancer, metastatic cancer and gastric adenocarcinoma.

The citizens say the facilities have "never, in their entire history, operated in compliance with applicable state, local and federal laws," though the operators have always been aware of the dangers and health risks posed to people who live near the plants.

They say the corporations routinely exceeded federal stack emission regulations, violated Pennsylvania laws that govern disposal of wastes into surface bodies, failed to maintain equipment in proper working order, failed to maintain adequate monitoring systems and exposed workers in the facilities to "unlawful and hazardous concentrations of radioactive and toxic materials."

Their lawsuit joins several others filed against Babcock, B&W and ARCO this year. Complaints for negligence and liability were filed in April and May and a class action was filed against the corporations in June.The citizens are suing for Price Anderson Act violations, negligence, liability, private nuisance, trespass, misrepresentation and concealment, civil conspiracy, wrongful death and damages. They are represented by Bruce Mattock with Goldberg, Persky and White.

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