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BNSF settles lawsuit over Somers contamination

By Associated Press
Published On: May 02 2014 07:42:12 AM MDT
KALISPELL, Mont. -

BNSF Railway has settled a lawsuit filed by landowners living near a former railroad tie treatment plant near Somers.
    
BNSF spokesman Matt Jones tells the Flathead Beacon the settlement reached last month calls for the company to buy most of the properties owned by the 17 plaintiffs. Jones says the specific terms of the settlement are confidential.
    
Railroad ties were coated with creosote at the 80-acre site near downtown Somers from 1901 and 1986. The area, owned by Great Northern Railway, was declared a Superfund site in 1984. BNSF now owns the property.
    
The company acknowledges chemicals have seeped into the soil and groundwater. EPA project manager Diana Hammer says recent findings indicate a large plume of creosote further underground than originally thought.
    
Jones says cleanup will continue at the site.