FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003
ENRD (202) 514-2007|
EPA (617) 918-1014
U.S. ENTERS INTO SETTLEMENT FOR STAMINA MILLS, INC. SUPERFUND SITE
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency announced today they have entered into a settlement agreement with Kayser-Roth Corporation in connection with the Stamina Mills Superfund Site located in North Smithfield, Rhode Island.
In 1969, the Site was contaminated by a spill of trichloroethylene. At that time, Kayser-Roth was the parent corporation of Stamina Mills, Inc., which operated a textile mill at the site. Under the proposed settlement, Kayser-Roth will be required to reimburse the Superfund account in the amount of about $7.2 million.
Today's settlement follows a long history of litigation against Kayser-Roth:
•The United States first sued Kayser-Roth in 1988 to recover the costs incurred by EPA in connecting certain residents located near the Stamina Mills Site to the public water supply. After a trial, the United States District Court for the District Court of Rhode Island, in 1990, entered a judgment against Kayser-Roth in the amount of about $958,420 and issued a declaratory judgment of Kayser-Roth's liability under Superfund in connection with the Stamina Mills Site. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the judgment and Kayser-Roth made the $958,420 payment to EPA.
•In 1991, the United States issued an administrative order to Kayser-Roth requiring it to implement the remedy that EPA had selected for the Site in 1990. Kayser-Roth, or Collins & Aikman Products Co., Inc., which, in 1994, provided an indemnity to Kayser-Roth in connection with the Stamina Mills Site, have been implementing the remedy at the Site since 1991.
•In 1998, the United States again sued Kayser-Roth seeking to recover costs EPA had incurred at the Site that were not recovered in connection with the 1988 litigation. In response to the litigation, Kayser-Roth asserted, based on a 1998 Supreme Court decision, that it should no longer be viewed as a liable party in connection with the Stamina Mills Site, but the district court rejected Kayser-Roth's position and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the district court's ruling. In light of these decisions by the district court and court of appeals, the parties reached a settlement whereby Kayser-Roth has agreed to reimburse the United States about $7.2 million.
"Under this settlement, as well as the 1988 litigation, a significant portion of the costs associated with the Stamina Mills Site will be paid by Kayser-Roth, a liable party in connection with the site, leaving more monies available in the Superfund for cleanups at other sites," said Tom Sansonetti, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resource Division.
"This settlement ends years of lawsuits and finally puts this case to bed," said Robert W. Varney, EPA New England regional administrator. "We are pleased that Kayser-Roth, not the taxpayer, will pay for the cleanup costs."
More information about environmental issues related to this case are available at the EPA's New England web site at www.epa.gov/region1.