Property owners sue over gas drilling waste wells

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Nine Arkansas families and individuals are suing gas drilling companies over the injection of waste fluids that they say has contaminated the ground underneath their land.

The amended complaint filed on Thursday seeks class status for landowners who live above the waste wells into which the fluids were injected. An earlier version of the lawsuit was filed in August, which defendant Houston-based Southwestern Energy Co. asked to be dismissed.

The new court action also names Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Fort Worth, Texas-based XTO Energy Inc.

The plaintiffs live in Faulkner and Independence counties. The suit claims the companies are being "unjustly enriched" and that mineral leases don't include permanent disposal of waste fluids.

Southwestern's response to the original suit says the plaintiffs can't back up their claims.

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