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W.R. Grace Pays $63M to Clean Up Contamination

(CN) - W.R. Grace & Co. paid the government more than $63 million for the costs of cleaning up 39 sites in 21 states, the Justice Department said Wednesday, two days after the company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The specialty chemical company agreed to the payment as part of its bankruptcy reorganization plan, put into place after the firm and 61 affiliates filed for bankruptcy in April 2001. Two years later, the Environmental Protection Agency sued W.R. Grace, seeking reimbursement for the costs of cleaning up asbestos and other pollution caused by the company.

About $54 million of the $63 million went to the EPA and $9 million to other federal agencies, according to a press release issued by the Justice Department Wednesday.

"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.

In 2008, W.R. Grace paid the EPA $250 million to settle claims that it contaminated the small town of Libby, Mont., with asbestos.

The Justice Department said W.R. Grace's $54 million payment to the EPA will reimburse the agency for cleanup costs associated with these Superfund sites: Acton Plant in Acton, Mass.; Amber Oil in Milwaukee; Aqua Tech in Greer, S.C.; Big Tex Site in San Antonio, Texas; Blackburn and Union Privileges in Walpole, Mass.; Cambridge Plant in Cambridge, Mass.; Casmalia Resources in Santa Barbara, Calif.; Central Chemical in Hagerstown, Md.; Galaxy/Spectron in Elkton, Md.; Green River in Maceo, Ky.; Harrington Tools in Glendale, Calif.; Intermountain Insulation in Salt Lake City; IWI Site in Summit, Ill.; Li Tungsten in Glen Cove, N.Y.; Malone Services Co. in Texas County, Texas; Massachusetts Military Reservation in Barnstable County, Mass.; N-Forcer Site in Dearborn, Mich.; Operating Industries Inc. in Monterey Park, Calif.; R & H Oil/Tropicana in San Antonio; RAMP Industries in Denver; Reclamation Oil in Detroit; Robinson Insulation in Minot, N.D.; Solvents Recovery Service of NE in Southington, Conn.; Vermiculite Exfoliation Site in Nashville; Vermiculite Expansion Site in High Point, N.C.; Vermiculite Intermountain in Salt Lake City; Vermiculite Northwest in Spokane, Wash.; Watson Johnson LF in Richland Township, Pa.; Wells G & H (Source & Central Areas) in Woburn, Mass.; Western Minerals Processing in Denver; Western Minerals Products in Minneapolis; W.R. Grace in Weedsport, N.Y.; Zonolite in Wilder, Ky.; Prince George's Co., Md.; Hamilton Township, N.J.; Ellwood City, Pa.; and New Castle, Pa.; Zonolite/W.R. Grace in Easthampton, Mass.; and Zonolite Road in Atlanta.

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