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Albany and Millersburg to File Lawsuit against CH2M Hill over Defective Public Works Projects

The City Councils for Albany and Millersburg have authorized their outside legal counsel, Markowitz Herbold, to file suit against CH2M Hill for damages caused by defective work on their wastewater reclamation facility and the Talking Water Gardens wetlands.

As the lead engineer for the wastewater reclamation facility, CH2M Hill recommended a technology sold by Siemens that was guaranteed to reduce the volume of biosolids by 90 percent and allow for low-cost land application of the remaining treated biosolids. The Cities believe the treatment technology recommended by CH2M Hill has failed, leaving them with the task of disposing of untreated sludge at whatever landfill may accept it.

Additionally, the Talking Water Gardens wetlands project was designed by CH2M Hill to lower the temperature of treated water before its permitted release through a diffuser into the Willamette River. The Cities believe CH2M Hill defectively designed the wetlands and failed to properly oversee the construction, leading to problems such as leakage to surrounding surface waters and groundwater, and failure to sustain plant life. The Cities are seeking the funds necessary to satisfy the design goals of the related projects and pay for the costs caused by these defects.

“We are disappointed that these important public works projects, entrusted to CH2M Hill, have suffered from so many fundamental problems. We had hoped to come to an amicable resolution with CH2M Hill before now, but so far have not been able to do so,” says Kerry Shepherd of Markowitz Herbold and attorney for Albany and Millersburg. “While it is time to place these matters into our judicial system, we will continue to be open to working with CH2M Hill to resolve these problems amicably, if possible.”