Battle over contamination at Watchtower site in Warwick

by OrphanCrow 71 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • OrphanCrow

    Battle over contamination at Watchtower site in Warwick

    By Hema Easley

    Times Herald-Record

    Posted Dec. 14, 2015 at 8:20 PM

    WARWICK - A slew of companies sued by Watchtower Bible and Tract Society say they don’t bear responsibility for contaminating the Warwick site where the religious group is building its massive world headquarters, and will therefore not pay for it.
    Watchtower, better known as Jehovah’s Witnesses, has agreed to dismiss the case against one of the companies, Vale Canada, because New York courts do not have jurisdiction over foreign businesses. Vale Canada is the parent company of International Nickel Inc., which owned the Warwick property from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s.
    The suit was filed in New York’s Southern District in June against International Nickel and 10 other companies that Watchtower says are affiliated with the mining company. Some of the companies named in the lawsuit are Inco Alloys International, Inc., Huntington Alloys Corporation, Special Metals Corporation, Precision Castparts and Inco United States.
    International Nickel had a foundry and a research-and-development operation on the site. Watchtower purchased the property in 2009.
    The companies named in the lawsuit say they either didn’t own the business, or didn’t pollute the land, or are not liable. At least one of the companies – Huntington Alloys Inc. - doesn’t exist, according to a court filing by Huntington Alloys Corporation.
    Watchtower did not return a call for comment.
    In its lawsuit, Watchtower says International Nickel ran a wastewater-treatment plant at the site to handle effluent, and also owned underground tanks to store fuel and other hazardous material.
    Watchtower claims that International Nickel discharged petroleum and oils containing polychlorinated byphenyls - or PCBs - into the wastewater treatment plant, and into the soil and groundwater, thereby contaminating the environment at the property. PCBs, which are probable human carcinogens, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, were banned in the United States in 1979.
    It isn’t clear when Watchtower discovered the contamination. It contacted the state Department of Environmental Conservation in 2012, according to the lawsuit.
    Watchtower is seeking unspecified reimbursement for the cost it has incurred in the cleanup and remediation. It is also seeking damages, restitution and attorney fees.
    Warwick Supervisor Mike Sweeton said the site has been cleaned as part of the approval process. Watchtower is building offices, apartments to house 1,000 adults, a cafeteria, a vehicle-maintenance building, an infirmary and a parking garage at the site.
    Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

  • Captain Schmideo2
    Captain Schmideo2

    "Instant Karma's gonna get you,

    Gonna knock you right in the face!"

    Anybody ever see the movie or read the book "A Civil Action"? This is basically the same situation. The WTBS is in for a very long, very expensive legal battle. These corporations can hide and move and shuffle the blame around forever...
    And the WTBS should know, they have been experts at it for quite awhile themselves...

    Gotta Love It!

  • nicolaou

    This from an organisation that regularly spews it's own brand of toxic waste. Watchtower have been contaminating our family environments for years!

  • Dunedain

    I dont understand what kind of money they could possibly be sueing for? Didnt it cost exactly NOTHING when Jehovah, magically waved his hand and cleaned the property from all its contaminents? That is what happened, right? Why would the WTS have to pay anything to clean it, didnt they just pray to Jehovah for that, OH WAIT, why didnt they just pray to Jehovah that they didnt but contaminated land, in the first place?

    Something is not adding up here. . . . . . . . .


    The WTBS is in for a very long, very expensive legal battle. These corporations can hide and move and shuffle the blame around forever...
    And the WTBS should know, they have been experts at it for quite awhile themselves......Captian Schmideo2

    ........Image result for Watchtower logo

    .........Image result for what goes around comes around

  • Crazyguy
    The company that actually may be responsible they dropped the suit against. Maybe they'll refile under a different juristiction . Or maybe their just that dumb.
  • floriferous

    I can't believe the WT didn't have this site thoroughly analysed before parting with any money, especially considering what the land had been used for.

    Caveat emptor.

  • JeffT
    I'd like to know who (if anybody) they hired to do the environmental study part of their due diligence. The title search should have revealed the previous owners and the nature of their business, which should have been a red flag for environmental issues. This may be get raised as a defense as they proceed through discovery. At some point somebody is going to say "they should have known the land was polluted. Its not our fault they bought it."
  • Listener

    But it was so long ago, nobody will remember what took place, who did what, what procedures existed and we've all learnt so much more since then. Everyone called to be a witness won't remember what happened and if they do find any paperwork, they'll have no recollection of it.

    That's what they did at the Aust. Royal Commission.

    The corporations that may be involved may also pass the buck onto the Government saying that it is their responsibility and if there were laws in place they would have complied by them.

  • mgmelkat
    Meanwhile, every one living and working at Warwick will develop tumours and cancers from the toxins left over in the ground and will be too sick to write any more publications...

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