CHARLESTON - The director of the Division of Water and Waste Management of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is claiming a man dumped contaminated soil at a site that's location he never specified.

Lisa McClung says Carl Higginbotham, the owner of JKH Co. in Dunbar, did not follow proper procedure when he was ordered to remove four underground gas tanks from White's Dunbar Mart in Dunbar.

On Dec. 4, 1998, Higginbotham hired a contractor to remove the four tanks and contaminated soil around them, the lawsuit says. It adds that the soil was taken to an area known as "Southall Property," though the exact location of the dumping was not provided to the DEP.

The lawsuit says the final disposal was not done in accordance with statutes and regulations, and that one of the four tanks still remains at the site.

A settlement was reached after an appeal by Higginbotham to the Environmental Quality Board on Dec. 9, 2004, saying JKH Co. would be responsible for submitting a sampling and remediation plan to deal with any contamination. It was to be submitted 45 days after the order was drawn, but the lawsuit says that never happened.

McClung says she believes it was never done because the project was estimated to cost $11,000.

She claims the defendants should be forced to pay up to $25,000 per day it was in violation of complying with the EQB's order and up to $10,000 per day for violating the removal statutes and regulations.

Mark J. Rudolph of the DEP's legal division is handling the case. He is also seeking another schedule of compliance from JKH Co.

Judge Jennifer Bailey Walker has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-1178

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