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Trial set in Halliburton water case

A trial date has been set in the case of 10 Duncan residents or business owners who say work done years ago by Halliburton on land north of Duncan left groundwater in the area polluted.

The plaintiffs, represented by attorney David Page, claim they've suffered diminished property values along with loss of use and/or enjoyment of property due to perchlorate contamination. Page said they're also seeking punitive damages, alleging Halliburton knew about potential groundwater contamination for years but didn't reveal concerns to people living in the area.

Court documents show that beginning around 1962 and continuing through 1992 the company, under contract with the Defense Department, burned or disposed of some 500,000 pounds of waste fuel residue taken from used missile casings on a four-acre site north and west of 5th Street and Osage Lane north of Duncan. In 2011, the company reported that it had found ammonium perchlorate in water wells located around the closed site. Since then, Halliburton has paid water bills of people living in the area after covering the costs of extending a Duncan municipal water line into the area. It also has purchased at least 15 houses in the affected area.

Page said his clients feel hampered in their ability to sell or enjoy their homes or property. At least two are business owners who had planned to develop land near the former Halliburton site but who now feel that there's too much risk because of the perchlorate contamination.

"The claims for this set of plaintiffs are all property damage claims," he said. "We're saying there were substantial damages. They worry a lot."

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