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Judge rules lawsuit over oilfield waste can proceed

(AP) — A Mississippi judge says a lawsuit over oilfield waste can move forward.

Jones County Circuit Court Judge Dal Williamson ruled Monday that Tae and Diedra Baucum can sue a number of companies including Petro Harvester Oil & Gas.

WDAM-TV reports the Baucums allege waste buried nearby has leached into the Baucum property and contaminated it.

Monday’s ruling allows the family to pursue a personal injury claim in circuit court, while seeking money for property damages from the state Oil and Gas Board.

The lawsuit claims the defendants disregarded human health and safety by dumping, drilling, pumping and burying oilfield waste.

Environmental expert Bob Bowcock says Petro Harvester’s surface water discharge ponds may have percolated into a shallow aquifer system. Petro Harvester merged into Rockall Energy in 2018.