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More Apex residents will see checks from EQ

Posted April 23, 2010
Updated April 30, 2010

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— A second group of Apex homeowners will be paid for the trouble caused when a local hazardous waste facility caught fire and exploded in October 2006.

A court order filed Friday in the case against Environmental Quality Industrial Services, Inc., names an additional 146 members to the class action lawsuit, making them eligible for up to $750 for expenses incurred when they were forced to leave their homes on Oct. 5, 2006.

The payments will be in addition to earlier payments from EQ to compensate for evacuation expenses.

When the EQ facility erupted into a fireball, town officials ordered about 17,000 people to evacuate because they feared that toxic chemicals were in the plume of smoke that spread over Apex.

Investigators determined that improperly stored canisters caused the rapid spread of the fire throughout the facility.

Residents sued EQ and some of the companies that sent oxygen canisters to the facility for disposal. Some residents claimed health problems from exposure to the smoke from the fire, but environmental tests taken during and after the evacuation showed no harmful effects from the plume.

EQ and two Alabama-based companies eventually settled with home and business owners for more than $7 million. EQ previously reimbursed the town of Apex more than $200,000 for its costs in responding to the fire and handling the evacuation.

The company also agreed not to reopen the facility to settle a state fine over environmental violations there.

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  • ncmickey Apr 23, 2010

    Keepin the Lawyers rich.....

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Apr 23, 2010

    It wasn't just because we were inconvenienced. Actually, we didn't evacuate so we didn't get any money... But, we couldn't leave our home or neighborhood as we wouldn't have been let back in. So we were indeed inconvenienced. The money is compensation for real expenses that were incurred by the residents who did evacuate. Shouldn't they be compensated for those expenses, and yes, maybe a little bit for inconvenience as well? I have to wonder why people care about this anyway? It's not coming from your tax dollars, it's coming from a company that was found to have been negligent in the storing of chemicals which caused this crisis. What's the problem with that??

  • wcumom Apr 23, 2010

    It's a bad time when folks are being paid for "inconvenience".Geez! Maybe I should get paid by someone when my subdivision was blocked off by Firefighters and ambulances to save someones life!I had to go someplace for awhile until the scene was cleared!I WAS SO INCONVENIENCED!!!!!

  • mjjunk Apr 23, 2010

    This is all great, but what about the people who live in apartments? Just because they don't own the property, doesn't mean they weren't equally inconvenienced.