This Week's Program: Monday, May 9, 2005

Ponca v. Carbon Black Company

"The Continental Carbon Company has exhibited a callous disregard towards the Ponca Tribe of Indians and our people by continuing to pollute our people, our lands, and our air. The Ponca Tribe was forced to take this land at gunpoint by the government, and now it is all we have left," Ponca Tribal Chairman Dwight Buffalohead said in a statement.

The Ponca Tribe and individual tribal members filed a federal class action lawsuit on April 20 aimed at halting Continental Carbon Co. from spewing carbon black over Ponca land and tribal members and coating everything surrounding the factory in black soot. The class action suit seeks a court order forcing Continental Carbon Co. to halt polluting the land and air. Further, it demands the company clean up the properties it continues to pollute and seeks damages for the Ponca Tribe and its people.

The federal complaint alleges trespass, private nuisance, public nuisance, failure to warn, personal injuries, negligence, medical monitoring, unjust enrichment and punitive damages. The defendants are Continental Carbon Co.; China Synthetic Rubber Corp. and its domestic corporation, CSRC USA; and Taiwan Cement Corp. The parent company is a publicly traded corporation in Taiwan, which owns the Ponca City carbon black facility. CSRC is the fourth-largest producer of carbon black in the world.

In 2004, a delegation of Ponca tribal members traveled to Taiwan and attempted to meet with the corporate owners and stockholders in session. While the Ponca delegation was surrounded by Taiwanese police, the stockholders voted not to hear the concerns of the Ponca delegation.