Harris County Sues AT&T Over Leaking Underground Tanks

The Harris County Attorney's office is suing AT&T over damage from leaking underground gasoline storage tanks.

The County’s lawsuit contends AT&T and four of its subsidiaries stored thousands of gallons of gasoline in underground storage tanks across Harris County. Gasoline from those tanks then leaked into the groundwater.

The County says AT&T failed either to take steps to prevent the tanks from leaking or to clean up pollution from the tanks once they learned of it.

Rock Owens is an attorney with the Harris County Attorney’s office.

“Some of them are within blocks of people’s homes and schools. They’re near water supplies. The county has been impacted in at least one of these sites, because we dug up one of these tanks when we were working on a Flood Control District project. Many people have been affected, and the potential is great for many more to be affected.”

Harris County is seeking undetermined civil damages, as well as to force the companies to clean up the contamination. AT&T entities paid $25 million to settle a similar suit in California in 2006. AT&T declined to comment for this story.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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