Grain company sued for being a health nuisance

Michelle Keahey Aug. 3, 2012, 4:35am


NEW ORLEANS - A recently filed federal lawsuit claims that a St. James Parish grain elevator is emitting significant amounts of grain dusting that could be causing health problems for workers at an adjacent company.

Consolidated Environmental Management Inc. file suit against Zen-Noh Grain Corp. on July 3 in federal court in New Orleans.

Consolidated Environmental is constructing a direct reduced iron facility in St. James Parish, on property that is adjacent to Zen-Noh's St. James Parish grain elevator and wood chip storage and reclamation facility, the suit says. Consolidated Environmental argues that the defendant is failing to control particulate emissions from its loading and unloading operations, which results in "significant dusting." The dusting is allegedly posing a nuisance and possibly more serious health threats, the lawsuit states.

The defendant is accused of violating the Clean Air Act and the Louisiana Environmental Quality Act.

Consolidated Environmental is asking the court to prevent Zen-Noh from operating without first obtaining the proper permits, require Zen-Noh to comply with state and federal regulations, and for an award of civil penalties and attorney's fees.

The plaintiff is represented by David R. Taggart, Jerald N. Jones, Bradley R. Belsome, and Michael C. Mims of Bradley Murchison Kelly & Shea in Shreveport, Maureen N. Harbourt and Tokesha M. Collins of Kean Miller in Baton Rouge, and William White of Moore & Van Allen in Charlotte, N.C.

U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-01738

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