AT&T Let Gasoline And Benzene Leak Into Texas Groundwater Supplies For 32,000 days

Sourced by OzHouse

32,000 days. That’s how long AT&T has been in violation of environmental laws in Texas for polluting large areas with leaky underground gasoline tanks, according to state and county officials.

Harris County (which includes the city of Houston) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality are suing AT&T for allowing their subsurface storage tanks to spill gasoline and the chemical benzene (which causes cancer) into groundwater supplies. The plaintiffs contend the telecom giant knew about the leaks and did nothing to stop them—because it would be “too much of a hassle to remove” the faulty tanks.

AT&T had decided to store the gasoline after it purchased large amounts in bulk to fuel its vehicles. The tanks “are located in communities near homes, schools, churches and public and private drinking water wells,” according to the lawsuit. There are 34 leaking underground fuel tanks in Harris County alone, including at least 13 that have polluted groundwater with gasoline and hazardous substances.

The state and county want AT&T fined the maximum amount allowed under the law for violating the Texas Water Code at multiple sites, which collectively adds up to at least 32,000 days.

The company was caught doing the same thing in California five years ago and paid $25 million in civil penalties to the state.

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