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Friday, December 8, 2023 | Back issues
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GM Settles Toxic Dump Claims for $24 Million

MANHATTAN (CN) - General Motors' bankruptcy unit will pay nearly $24 million to settle federal charges over its release of toxic waste in three states, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The United States sued Motors Liquidation Co. fka General Motors Corp. after the Environmental Protection Agency paid to remediate three Superfund sites: Diamond Alkali in New Jersey, the Kane & Lombard Street Drum in Maryland, and the Hayford Bridge Road Groundwater in Missouri.

From 1918 to 1970, GM allegedly dumped polychlorinated biphenyls, metals and oil, from its Hyatt Roller Bearings facility in Harrison, N.J., into the Passaic River.

The Baltimore County site became polluted with materials that GM allegedly dumped from its Broening Highway plant between 1963 and 1973.

Around the same time period, GM allegedly dumped PCBs, benzene, toluene and vinyl chloride at a former chemical reprocessing facility in St. Charles, Mo.

Dozens of other parties are also liable for the contamination at the Diamond Alkali and Kane & Lombard Street sites, according to the court.

Manhattan federal prosecutors filed the $23.8 million settlement agreement Monday in bankruptcy court.

The EPA's allowed environmental claims, exceeding $20.9 million, will be paid in GM stock and warrants, but prosecutors say that the funds will have a less-than-face-amount cash value.

Of that amount, $19.5 million will go toward Diamond Alkali; $2.4 million will go toward the Kane & Lombard Street Superfund site; and $1.4 million will go toward Hayford Bridge.

The settlement also allocates Hayford work up to $448,000.

Third parties will receive the remaining settlement funds to perform $2.89 million in cleanup work at the sites.

GM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2009. The following month, a federal bankruptcy judge in New York's Southern District let the company sell substantially all of its assets to a newly formed corporation, now known as General Motors Co.

The bankrupt entity's liquidation plan was confirmed in bankruptcy court on March 29, 2011.

Prosecutors note that this week's settlement is the 10th in a series of agreements for GM's environmental liabilities at more than 100 sites. The government has recovered more than $860 million in cash to date from these cases.

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