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Stories Added - June 2010
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Residents file suit against power plant
San Jacinto News- Times
SHEPHERD – A group of Shepherd Woods and Freedom Lane residents have fi led suit in San Jacinto County District Court, claiming a peaking power plant is “negligently” causing watershed damage to their property. Plaintiffs David Hibler, Jr., John Martinez, Pablo Garrido, Sofi a Garrido, Faye Eugene Rhea, Michael Orgovan and Miclius Street fi led the suit against defendants East Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc., William Lyon and Associates, Inc., Rood Enterprises, LLC doing business as Tri-County Construction Company and GDS Associates, Inc. The plaintiffs are represented by Huntsville attorney Bennie Rush. According to the suit, defendant William Lyon and Associates, Inc. was the engineering and/or design fi rm that prepared the plans for the construction of the peaking facility that burns natural gas and is a 168 MW simple cycle combustion turbine generation station. The suit states that the design and construction of the peaking power plant facility is such that it allows watershed damage to plaintiffs’ property. “After the construction of the plant and in July 2008, work was performed on Freedom Lane which has made the road impassable. Several loads of spoil dirt were dumped on Freedom Lane making it impassable when it rains. With the addition of the spoil dirt, the road now acts as a dam and causes fl ooding. Defendants have performed or allowed certain acts upon the land in question that have altered the natural fl ow of the surface waters upon plaintiffs’ properties,” the suit states. According to the suit, a retention pond constructed at the peaking facility causes fl ooding problems on the plaintiffs’ property located on Freedom Lane. “Defendants’ wrongful discharge of surface waters is in violation of Water Code Paragraph 11.086 and has caused plaintiffs’ damages for which they seek recovery of their damages, punitive damages and recovery of their costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney’s fees and costs,” the suit states. The suit also charges the defendants of trespassing. “Defendants caused an authorized entry upon plaintiffs’ land by their combined actions and inactions concerning land modification,” the suit states. Plaintiffs are seeking judgment against the defendants in a sum far in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of the court, plus interest thereon at the legal rate, pre-judgment interest, costs of court expended in their behalf and for such other and further relief, the suit states.