FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2003
ENRD (202) 514-2007|
ENRD (202) 514-2007
U.S. ENTERS INTO SETTLEMENT FOR RE-SOLVE, INC. SUPERFUND SITE
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency announced today that they have entered into a settlement agreement with Vulcan International Corporation in connection with the Re-Solve, Inc. Superfund Site located in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Under the proposed settlement, Vulcan, one of the potentially responsible parties in the case, will be held responsible to reimburse the Superfund account in the amount of $3.8 million.
Re-Solve, Inc. operated an industrial waste chemical reclamation facility at the site from about 1956 until about 1980. Vulcan, or its predecessors in interest, arranged to have waste solvents reclaimed at the facility in the 1970s. These harmful waste solvents, along with waste solvents sent to the site by other potentially responsible parties, were found at the site.
Today's announcement represents the final settlement in a long series of settlements that the U.S. has entered into in connection with the Re-Solve Site. Overall, these settlements, involving over 400 potentially responsible parties, have resulted in the agreement to perform work, or reimburse response costs, worth about $64 million. These sums represent close to 95% of the costs associated with the Re-Solve Site.
Today's settlement with Vulcan is the last in a series of settlements with defendants who were named in an enforcement action filed in 1990. These defendants had declined to participate in earlier settlements that had been offered to all of the parties at the Re-Solve Site. The first settlement was entered into in 1989 with 224 potentially responsible parties associated with the site. Under that settlement, the parties agreed to perform the remedy selected by the EPA for the site and agreed to reimburse the EPA for certain response costs. Later in 1989, the EPA entered into an administrative settlement with 170 additional parties responsible for the contamination to cover a portion of the cost of the response actions at the site. In 1990, the United States filed an action against 19 parties that had refused to join the prior settlements.
As a result of the settlement announced today, the United States has now entered into settlements with all of the viable defendants in the 1990 action (that is, 17 of the 19 defendants). Each of these defendants, including Vulcan, was required to pay more than it would have had to pay had it joined the initial settlements in 1989. Potentially responsible parties who decide to forego early settlement opportunities are required to pay more in order to encourage early settlements and to ensure fairness to those who "step up to the plate" early.
"This settlement is the culmination of many years of effort by the Justice Department and the EPA, under three different administrations, to ensure that the parties at the Re-Solve Site pay for the cleanup," said Tom Sansonetti, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resource Division.
"This is the final chapter in the long legal proceedings that has led to polluters paying the costs of cleaning up this site," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "This was what Congress intended when it passed the Superfund law in 1980. In this case, the companies are performing the cleanup, and nearly all of the government costs are recovered."
More information about environmental issues related to this case is available at the EPA's New England website: www.epa.gov/ne/superfund/sites/resolve.