HATTIESBURG — Eleven plaintiffs, including a Hattiesburg church, have filed a lawsuit in an ongoing dispute over pollution from the old Hercules facility.
Ashland Inc. of Covington, Ky., purchased Hercules in 2008. It has not yet responded to the lawsuit filed in federal court in Hattiesburg.
Local residents have complained for years about pollution from the plant.
Opening in 1923, Hercules manufactured myriad products including modified resins, synthetic rubber and agricultural pesticide. It closed in December 2009.
In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency ordered Ashland to conduct on- and off-site testing after the EPA found benzene and several other hazardous materials in groundwater, soil samples and sediment tested by the agency that year.
The plaintiffs claim their properties are “hydrogeologically downgradient” from the facility, according to the lawsuit.