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EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (AP) — Companies taken to court over property damage from the contaminated USS Lead Superfund site in East Chicago have asked a federal judge to dismiss the case.

Homeowners filed the lawsuit last year that alleges the companies’ decades-long operations near homes forced property values to plummet, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported. The lawsuit also alleges the companies trespassed on properties with the release of airborne contaminants that settled into soil and through soil fill contamination in yards.

The lawsuit lists Atlantic Richfield Co., its successor Tesoro Corp.; E.I. DuPont De Nemours and Co., and its successor The Chemours Co.; and U.S. Smelter and Lead Refinery, as defendants in the case.

The companies argue that the Environmental Protection Agency notified plaintiffs of contamination as early as 2010, outlined a remediation plan in 2012, and entered into a consent decree in 2014, forcing companies to pay for cleanup.

Cleanup of yards by the EPA is ongoing as the federal agency continues to secure funding from companies responsible for the pollution. Attorneys representing homeowners say EPA’s cleanup of yards does nothing to compensate families for the loss in property value and other damages.

In a filing opposing the motion to dismiss, David Chizewer, attorney for residents, argued DuPont, ARCO and USS Lead were negligent and breached their duty to current and future homeowners by contaminating neighboring land.

Each homeowner seeks damages in excess of $75,000, alleging negligence, trespass and nuisance.


Information from: The Times,