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Point Ruston Threatens City of Ruston with $150 Million Lawsuit
The developers of Point Ruston are suing the City of Ruston. For a lot of money.
The News Tribune reported on Friday that Point Ruston LLC has given the small town warning that it intends to sue for what it calls "environmental malfeasance," and will be seeking damages totalling more than $150 million.
According to a legal claim posted on Ruston Home last Thursday, Point Ruston's developer point to their partnership with the City of Tacoma to rebuild roads and other infrastructures, and the State of Washington's investments in environmental cleanup. Meanwhile, the developer says, Ruston has done the opposite - hindering cleanup and even causing the spread of contaminants.
It sounds like Ruston was supposed to do some cleanup of contamination related to the Asarco superfund site, including excavation and disposal of contaminated soil and marine sediment, capping of remaining contamination, removal and replacement of stormwater drainage and other infrastructure, and other ongoing remediation and monitoring. The cost of all that work was estimated to be over $50 million. Point Ruston is suing for three times that amount, under Washington's Model Toxics Control Act. The $150 million is meant to cover money already spent, as well as future cleanup costs.
According to the TNT, the two parties have been in talks for almost a year, and Point Ruston says they've proposed a mediation process, which Ruston has not responded to. Apparently the developer has even moved the multiplex theater currently under construction from the Ruston side of the project, to the Tacoma side, to ensure it can open on time.
Among its specific claims against the City of Ruston, Point Ruston says the City has not adequately addressed contamination carried by wind and stormwater from Ruston to the development, including failure to deal with a wastewater pipe running under the development, and a failure to seal the former Ruston Way tunnel after the rerouting of the road.
Now we'll be honest, we haven't seen the City of Ruston budget for 2014, but we're guessing this is not something they can pay out of the petty cash fund.
Download the full legal claim document here.Download Now
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