W.R. Grace to pay toward cleanup of hazardous waste sites

W.R. Grace has agreed to a $34 million bankruptcy settlement for cleanup costs at 32 Superfund sites across the country, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice announced. This action settles a bankruptcy claim brought by the federal government to recover money for site cleanup. The federal government determined that the company contributed to the contamination at the sites under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act...

Dec 21st, 2007

WASHINGTON, DC, Dec. 20, 2007 -- W.R. Grace has agreed to a $34 million bankruptcy settlement for cleanup costs at 32 Superfund sites across the country, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice announced today. This action settles a bankruptcy claim brought by the federal government to recover money for site cleanup.

"Bankruptcy is not a safe haven to avoid environmental responsibilities," said Catherine McCabe, principal deputy assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "EPA will keep pursuing companies who pollute the environment."

"This settlement will make money available to substantially help the cleanup of many Superfund sites around the country," said Ronald J. Tenpas, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. "This settlement is a good outcome for both the taxpayers and the environment."

The federal government determined that the company contributed to the contamination at the sites under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, commonly referred to as Superfund. The settlement will be used to reimburse EPA for past costs and to pay for future costs associated with cleaning up at hazardous waste sites in 18 states. Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country.

W.R. Grace and 61 affiliated companies filed for bankruptcy in April 2001. In March 2003, EPA filed claims against the company to recover past and future cleanup costs. EPA will be able to pursue its claim once the bankruptcy court confirms a reorganization plan with the company.

W.R. Grace is a global supplier of specialty chemicals. The company has corporate headquarters in Columbia, Md. and employees in nearly 40 countries.

The settlement agreement will be lodged in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and is subject to court approval after a 30-day public comment period.

For more information on the W.R. Grace bankruptcy settlement: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/cleanup/cercla/grace-global.html

For more information on Cleanup Enforcement: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/cleanup

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