Plantiff Profiles

In the national settlement, Baron & Budd represents 153 public water providers from 17 different states, as well as a number of private well owners, who have struggled with the consequences of MTBE contamination of their water.  The following stories represent just a small sample of the types of clients that Baron & Budd has helped.

Suffolk County, New York

Located in Eastern Long Island, the Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA) is the largest water provider in the nation to provide water entirely from groundwater.  The SCWA operates approximately 500 wells that serve almost 2 million people.  In addition, Suffolk County sits on top of a single source aquifer, making it critically important to protect the quality of the aquifer. 

SCWA has discovered the presence of Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether (MTBE) in over one hundred of its water supply wells.  SCWA has been aggressive in taking steps to deal with MTBE, including the installation of water treatment on wells. 

The County of Suffolk and the Suffolk County Water Authority filed suit to make the gasoline manufacturers who polluted the water pay for the cleanup. The current settlement will pay for some of the damage the gasoline manufacturers have done.  In September, the SCWA will go to trial against Exxon and the few other non-settling defendants to make those companies pay their share for the harm they’ve done.

For more information, contact

Timothy J. Hopkins
General Counsel
Suffolk County Water Authority
4060 Sunrise Highway
Oakdale, New York 11769
Tel:  (631) 563-0236
legalinfo@swca.com

Freedom, Wisconsin

Freedom, Wisconsin, located halfway between Appleton and Green Bay, is a small town of 5,640 residents.  Until very recently, there was no public water supply, and all homes, schools and businesses in Freedom obtained their water from private wells.  But sometime in 2000, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources began testing wells after reports that underground storage tanks at a local gas station were believed to have leaked.  The church across the street from the gas station had high levels of MTBE contamination in their water, and tests showed that many homes and businesses had significant contamination. 

The level of MTBE found in so many of Freedom’s private wells drove the town to establish a municipal water supply.  Until safe water could be provided through the planned system, all the people affected by MTBE contamination were provided with bottled water to drink beginning in 2001.  They continued to use bottled water until late 2007, when they were connected to the new municipal water supply.  The wells that now supply water for the town are located at a distance to avoid threatened contamination from the MTBE plume.

For more information, contact

Len Abrahamson
President
Town of Freedom Sanitary District
N4229 Garvey Avenue
(Freedom) Kaukauna, Wisconsin 54130
Tel:  (920) 788-5763
fsdterri@sbcglobal.net

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