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Neighborhood Sues School Over Alleged Lake Contamination

By Jane Slater, CBS 11 News
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Alleged pollution of a lake near the Parc du Lac estates in Dallas. (Courtesy: Bob Haugh)

Alleged pollution of a lake near the Parc du Lac estates in Dallas. (Courtesy: Bob Haugh)

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Twenty-one residents in Dallas’ Parc du Lac estates filed a lawsuit against the St. Alcuin Montessori School earlier this year, alleging that its construction polluted and contaminated a nearby lake.

“It’s not the lake we had,” said homeowner Bob Haugh.

Haugh said he has lived in the Parc du Lac estates for more than 25 years. He said the lake was part of what attracted him to the area, but said he started noticing something concerning when the Israeli carp in the pond began dying and floating to the surface. Huge cranes and ducks also started avoiding the area.

“I, said, ‘you, know something is not right’,” Haugh said.

Haugh and his neighbors began investigating and they said they started to notice debris and material run-off coming from a nearby school.

They said they were shocked to learn that a storm drain located near St. Alcuin Montessori’s construction site was full of empty gas and oil cans, lime, coke bottles and food wrappers.

“It was deplorable,” Haugh said. “I couldn’t believe the stuff that was washing into the lake.”

Parc du Lac Pollution Suit

Haugh said the school was not responsive when residents addressed them about their concerns. Instead he said they were “stalling and stonewalling.”

So he and the Parc du Lac estates filed a lawsuit alleging “negligent acts resulting in the polluting of the canals and lakes”. The suit also points out code compliance issues during construction pointing to citations and violations for failing to “prevent and contain spills of paints, solvents, fuels, septic waste and other hazardous chemicals and pollutants associated with construction.”

Haugh said the lawsuit’s goal is getting the school and the construction company to pay for the cost of cleaning up the lake. The homeowners said it would cost roughly $150,000.

St. Alcuin Montessori would not comment on camera about the accusations but they did issue a statement.

“St. Alcuin deeply values the community that it serves and strives to be a good neighbor to all. Because this matter is currently in litigation, we are unable to elaborate on the particulars at this time,” read the statement.

CBS 11’s attempts to reach the construction company were unsuccessful.

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