W.R. Grace & Co, based in Columbia, Md., paid over $63 million to the U.S. government under its bankruptcy plan of reorganization to resolve claims for environmental cleanups at approximately 39 sites in 21states, the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today.
“Communities across the United States will benefit from this payment of present and future cleanup costs,” said Robert G. Dreher, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division.
“The Justice Department is committed to holding polluters responsible for their environmental legacy, and won’t just walk away leaving taxpayers to pick up the tab.”
“Cleaning up toxic pollution in communities is the responsibility of the company that created it, not the American taxpayer,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.
“This money will be used to clean up contaminated sites and to make a tangible difference for local communities across the country.”
W.R. Grace’s payment includes approximately $54 million for the EPA.
The company agreed to pay another $9 million to other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Interior and the U.S. Army.
W.R. Grace, a global supplier of specialty chemicals, and 61 affiliated companies filed for bankruptcy in April 2001.
In 2003, EPA filed claims against the company to recover past and future cleanup costs at sites contaminated by asbestos and other hazardous substances.
Numerous agreements to resolve the agency’s environmental liability claims against the company and its affiliates were negotiated as part of the company’s bankruptcy proceedings between April 2008 and February 2013.
The company continues to be responsible for all of the sites it owns or operates and for any additional sites that were not known or resolved under the earlier settlements.
W.R. Grace’s liability for asbestos contamination in the town of Libby, Mont., was addressed in a separate June 2008 settlement that resulted in a payment of $250 million to EPA.
W.R. Grace continues to be responsible for addressing cleanup at the Libby Mine.
The approximately $54 million payment to EPA will reimburse the agency for cleanup costs or provide funds for future cleanup at the following Superfund sites: