Friday, June 11, 2021

Jackson Sues Gold Coast et al Over Illegal Wastewater Dumping

Will last come mean last served?  The city of Jackson accused several local companies of dumping millions of gallons of highly acidic wastewater into the Jackson sewer system that caused millions of dollars in damages in a lawsuit filed in Hinds County Circuit Court Wednesday. 

The defendants are Gold Coast Commodities, Partridge-Sibley Industrial Services, Rebel High Velocity Sewer Services, and their respective owners.  The lawsuit is posted below.  

Gold Coast Commodities processes used cooking oil and soapstock into animal feed and other products such as biodesel at its Brandon facility.  Sulfuric acid is added.  The resulting reaction produces waste that is later mixed with a caustic agent (usually NaOH).  The waste must be kept at high temperatures or else it can't  flow. The wastewater has one other dangerous feature: it is highly acidic with a pH that can be lower than 2 if not properly treated before it is discharged. 

Brandon caught the company dumping highly acidic wastewater into its sewer system in 2014. The lawsuit states Brandon's sewer system connects to Jackson's wastewater treatment plant. Brandon sued the company in Rankin County Circuit Court.  

Banned in Brandon, Gold Coast Commodities used Partridge-Sibley to ship the wastewater to Rebel High Velocity Sewer Services in Jackson.  Rebel in turn dumped six million gallons of the Gold Coast acid directly into the Jackson sewer system.  

The lawsuit states Brandon informed Gold Coast in November 2016 it was going to place a monitor at Gold Coast's Brandon plant to "observe its disposal activities."  To avoid scrutiny, Gold Coast allegedly used Partridge-Sibley to ship its acidic wastewater to Rebel.   

Jackson had already hired Partridge-Sibley to haul away sludge from the Savannah wastewater treatment plant. Jackson accused the company of using its "intimate knowledge" of the sewer system to take advantage of the city. The company began hauling Gold Coast wastewater to Rebel.  Rebel would then in turn dump the wastewater into the Jackson sewer system.  

Partridge-Sibley allegedly placed a large storage tank at Rebel.  The lawsuit accuses the two companies of excavating Jackson's sewer line and inserting a pipe into the sewer line.  The other end of the pipe was connected to the storage tank.  The trucking company hauled at least 3 million gallons to Rebel in 2017.  Jackson charges "the defendants causes thousands of separate discharges of industrial waste into the City's sewer system over a period of several years."  

 MDEQ issued a cease and desist order against Rebel for the discharges in October 2017 and referred Rebel and Gold Coast to the EPA for criminal prosecution.   The lawsuit states: 

38.       The extent of the Defendants ' illegal waste discharges is still being investigated.  In late October  2017, the MDEQ  visited  the Rebel  facility  for an  unannounced  inspection.  During the inspection, the MDEQ investigator  discovered  that the ALAR equipment  at the Rebel facility was not being used to process Gold Coast's waste and was instead being discharged into the City ' s sewer  system  without  any  treatment  of  the waste.   The investigator  observed  steam  leaving  the sewer system  tied to the Rebel facility, and the wastewater  had a strong odor with a thick,  greasy material  on the surface.  Probe sampling of the wastewater revealed  a temperature of 132 degrees Fahrenheit and a pH of 6.51.

39.       The MDEQ investigator also took grab samples of the wastewater being discharged at the  Rebel  facility.  The investigator  placed  the samples in an ice chest and transported  them to the MDEQ's  laboratory.   After  being  stored  overnight ,  one of  the samples  exploded  in  the lab because  the sample  had  reached  its  boiling  point  during  a digestion  process  used  in  testing for metals .   In  short,  the  wastewater  being  discharged  into the  City's  public  sewer  system  was  so hazardous and explosive that a sample blew up in the MDEQ's lab.

The Justice Department filed a Bill of Information in U.S. District Court against Andy Walker, the owner of Rebel.*  Walker pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the federal investigation.

MDEQ notified the city of Jackson about the massive illegal discharges at a meeting in 2017.   The city sent its own cease and desist orders to Rebel, Gold Coast, and Partridge Trucking in October 2017.  Public Works Director Bob Miller signed the orders.  Jackson Deputy City Attorney Terry Williamson reported to MDEQ on October 30, 2017 that the city had JPD hand-deliver the orders to all three companies.  

Jackson took no legal action against Rebel, Gold Coast, or Partridge-Sibley after delivering the cease and desist orders until this lawsuit was filed 3 1/2 years later. Meanwhile, Brandon, EPA, and MDEQ have all taken legal action against the defendants since 2016 .  This website broke the news about the illegal dumping on September 15, 2020 and the Jackson violations on October 21, 2020.  The city suddenly started taking action on Gold Coast three years after MDEQ notified Jackson - and a few days after this website reported the notice.  This website also reported on October 21, 2020:

Jackson Ward 4 Councilman Dekeither Stamps twice tried to discuss Rebel and each time the Lumumba administration tried to go behind closed doors to discuss the problem.  He tried to discuss the matter at a meeting of the Water Billing Committee in September but the committee went into executive session at the administration's urging.  Mr. Stamps placed the matter on the agenda for the September 29 meeting but the discussion lasted all of two minutes. 

City Attorney Tim Howard repeatedly suggested going into executive session to discuss Rebel.  Mayor Lumumba said there had been discussions about the discharges and hinted the city might take legal action in the next few weeks.  Earlier post with copy of emails.

 Jackson claims its sewer system suffered damages of at least $15 million.  The complaint states Jackson is still investigating the damage to the system.  

The lawsuit charges the defendants with negligence, gross negligence, negligence per se,  and corporate officer liability.  The city asks for restitution and punitive damages. 

The case is assigned to Judge Winston Kidd.  Attorney John Hawkins represents Jackson. 

Kingfish note: Last come, last served.  Jackson sat on its butt for over 3 years until this website reported the MDEQ notice.  Sounds familiar, doesn't it? One Councilman tries to learn the damage to the Jackson sewer system yet the Mayor and Virgi will only discuss it behind closed doors.  The Lumumba administration got caught napping on this one.  Again.


Anonymous said...

This is Jackson’s lame excuse for a failed sewage system. Jackson is at the back of the line for money which doesn’t and won’t exist. The next step is blaming past neglect of the sewer system on the three greedy entities.

Anonymous said...

The irony of Jackson, that can’t provide basic needs of water, is suing these companies for illegal dumping.

Anonymous said...

How much did Brandon and MDEQ collect from them already? Are they still in business?

Anonymous said...

Jackson is a clown show. 🤡

Anonymous said...

If Jackson had sued the very next day Brandon did it wouldn’t matter.

The cases would have been consolidated for discovery, cost a lot of money, and there isn’t enough money to pay for anything.

Truth be told…John can use Brandon’s discovery materials and likely do much less work and maybe add a few parties who do have money later.

KF now I know why you aren’t a lawyer.

Kingfish said...

Actually the point is Jackson was doing absolutely nothing until this website busted it on receiving notifications from MDEQ. Then suddenly jackson started doing something. Just like the EPA order, the admin only wanted to discuss behind closed doors because it got caught again.

Anonymous said...

You think a lot of yourself don’t you

Anonymous said...

@7:36, now we know why you remain anonymous.

Anonymous said...

John Hawkins is a very able lawyer. The City made a wise choice in retaining him to prosecute this case.

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely nothing negative about this story. It is unimaginable the damage these defendants did to the city’s water/sewer system. It is fantastic that Jackson sued them and hired John Hawkins to do it. The criticism about how fast it happened is petty and meaningless.

If there is a deep pocket culpable party, and I bet there is, John will find them. I look for an eventual huge payday for Jackson, with John getting his fee out of it.

Yet another smart move by Mayor Lumumba.

Anonymous said...

9:42 great comment. I agree with everything you said until your last sentence. Little Chokwe is an empty suit, a liar and a fraud.

Anonymous said...

Just note the Douglas’ let a multi million dollar Viking sport fishing yacht sit in the water at Sportmans Marina as a hurricane hit while a phone call could have had it dry docked and sink during a hurricane. Tom Douglas commented on Facebook after the sinking of the “Jacqueline” “shit happens”. He let that liability go to collect an insurance check knowing this was coming down and threatening his livelihood.

Anonymous said...

I don't think a business that has a $40,000,000 a year Federal Taxpayer Funded BioDiesel capacity, at just ONE plant, out of 4 states, is too worried about a couple of lawsuits. These guys rake in the dough.

Anonymous said...

If you knew La La LaBamba when he was an attorney, his reputation and work ethic, then one shouldn’t be surprised that he brings all that to his political career.

Anonymous said...

I assume they are going to argue this is a continuous violation, but how is this not outside the statute of limitations from date of discovery.

Anonymous said...

Do these individuals who run this "business" have no shame? Are they related to the so-called Adams Ponzi scheme?
It is inconceivable (to me) that the profit margin outweighs an adult's sense of morality. Speaking of morality, these Douglas (?) family members, and their associates, are "morally bankrupt" and hopefully justice will come to bankrupt them financially. I'm no lawyer, but with a BS originally in Biology/Botany and subsequently post-grad in other (medical/business) fields, it makes me sick to my stomach that these people exist and willfully pollute our waterways. No comment on the Jackson mayor, as he has shown his incompetence, in my opinion.
It reminds me of my son's questions, recently, to one of his fellow groomsmen (whom he hadn't seen since high school) at a wedding of a high-school buddy.
Question: "What type of work are you doing?"
Answer: "Venture Capital".
Question:"How do you reconcile that with your stated Christianity?"
Answer: "It's difficult. It eats at my soul, and I'm thinking of going back to study pre-med, so I can help people instead of leaving a trail of dis-mantled companies".
Yup, this was at the rehearsal dinner..."a drinking man's words are a sober man's thoughts".
Question: "What do you do?"
Answer: "I willfully pollute our/our children's waterways, groundwater, and ruin downstream estuaries, and collect lots of money to ruin your environment and shorten your lifespan".
"Everything is Downstream"-Tom McGuane, with credits also to Jim Harrison.

Anonymous said...

7:12, you ever seen where they live or how? Rez rats, nothing to write home about. boat is nice, and nicely floated by business so they can walk away from it at any time, but they aint no midas touch.........

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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