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The city of Neodesha loses bid to retry lawsuit against BP - KOAM TV 7

The city of Neodesha loses bid to retry lawsuit against BP

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More than 10 years ago, the city ofNeodeshaa filed a lawsuit against BP claiming the company should provide more industrial cleanup  from a closed oil refinery. A county jury returned a verdict in favor of BP. Now, city has lost its bid to retry the lawsuit.

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Kim Ward has lived in Neodesha, Kansas since she was seven. She says there are great things about the city.

"It's a small town, it's friendly, and, a good place to live. If you know the facts."

These facts  involve the old BP oil refinery, also called the Amoco refinery, that closed in 1970.

The oil refinery left behind a plume of groundwater contamination underneath the city.  

This causes Ward concern.

"I think there needs to be quite a bit more cleanup," said Ward. "I  mean we have a younger generation. My nieces and nephews probably don't even know about."

In 2004, the city filed a lawsuit against bp for more than $400 million in collection with cleanup. The verdict returned in favor of BP.

Ten years later, the city of Neodesha filed a bid for a new trial.  The appellate court recently announced a new trial will not be granted.

BP sent along this statement:

"BP is pleased with the Kansas Court of Appeals opinion affirming the trial court and the jury's verdict. The jury's verdict reflects the findings of an independent government study that confirmed that the contamination from the former Amoco refinery, that was closed 44 years ago, poses no apparent public health hazard.  BP will continue the ongoing remediation activities at the former Amoco refinery site and will continue to work cooperatively with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.  Our goals for the project remain: no harm to people or the environment and the completion of the clean-up of the site, which has already been returned to productive use.”

City Administrator Allen Dinkel says the city has redeveloped itself since BP left.  

"I think this is a resilient town, so we manage through issues such like this and try to become a stronger community," said Dinkel.

Looking ahead, Dinkel says the city's legal council will research any possible future actions.

"It's too early at this point in time to really know what directions we'll go."

Ward says she wants the city to keep fighting for more cleanup.

"Because you can smell it at times," she said.

She also hopes people will continue to raise awareness. 

BP officials say it's addressed the contamination and the company has committed to remediation actions deemed appropriate by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

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