The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved a settlement agreement today between the United States and the APCO Liquidating Trust (a successor in interest to APCO Oil Corporation). The settlement follows seven years of litigation concerning the APCO Liquidating Trust’s liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or “Superfund”) for costs incurred by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the ongoing cleanup of the Oklahoma Refining Company (ORC) Superfund Site located in Cyril, Okla.
In February 2006, EPA filed a proof of claim in the Trust’s bankruptcy proceeding seeking the recovery of past and estimated future cleanup costs incurred in connection with the site.
Under the settlement agreement, the APCO Liquidating Trust and the APCO Missing Stockholder Trust have agreed to pay $14 million to the United States in order to resolve the U.S. action and related litigation.
“We are very pleased that as a result of vigorous enforcement in the bankruptcy court, the United States was able to achieve a substantial recovery,” said Robert G. Dreher, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The settlement payments will be used to fund expected future cleanup at the ORC Superfund Site. This is good news for U.S. taxpayers and the environment.”
The ORC Site was operated by Anderson-Prichard Oil Corporation and APCO Oil Corporation as an oil refinery from 1920 until about 1978, and then in a limited capacity by Oklahoma Refining Company until 1987. In 1990, EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List. EPA’s previous response actions addressed contamination of surface water, soil, and sediments on the southern portion of the site and the demolition and removal of refinery structures, tanks, and chemicals from the northern portion of the site.
On June 17, 2013, EPA Region 6 and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality issued a record of decision for Operable Unit 2. This decision selected the remedy for the remaining contaminated soil, sediment, and light non-aqueous phase liquid on the north side of the site. Work is expected to begin on this remedy in 2014. When the necessary studies are completed, EPA and ODEQ will select a remedy for site ground water in a third and final record of decision.