Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency Announce Settlement to Clean up Li Tungsten Superfund Site in Nassau County, New York
WASHINGTON—The Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced an agreement which will result in the completion of the cleanup of contamination at the Li Tungsten Superfund Site in Glen Cove, Nassau County, New York. The following parties are participants in the agreement: AGI-VR/Wesson, Alloy Carbide Company, Chi Mei Corporation, Climax Molybdenum Company, Climax Molybdenum Marketing Corporation, the County of Nassau, Cyprus Amax Minerals Company, General Electric Company, GTE Corporation, H.C. Starck, Inc., Kennametal Inc., M & R Industries, Inc., Minmetals Inc., OSRAM Sylvania Incorporated, Philips Electronics North America Corporation, Sandvik AB, and Allegheny Technologies Inc. subsidiaries TDY Holdings, LLC and TDY Industries, Inc. These parties, with the exception of Nassau County and the TDY entities which are alleged to have owned and/or operated portions of the facility, all arranged for the disposal of materials which were addressed at the Site. The settlement resolves a civil complaint filed concurrently with this agreement.
The settlement, filed under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, commonly known as the Superfund statute, will require TDY Holdings, LLC and TDY Industries, Inc. to perform work which is valued at $10.7 million, which represents the majority of the remaining cleanup at the site. The other defendants will pay $3.61 million to reimburse EPA for some of its response costs, and the defendants will pay $1.5 million as a civil penalty for violation of an EPA administrative order.
In addition, the United States, on behalf of potentially liable federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the General Services Administration and the Department of Commerce, will contribute $26 million toward the cleanup and payment of past response costs incurred by EPA. For a period of time, the United States owned certain land and buildings at the Li Tungsten Site that were used to refine tungsten in support of the defense effort during World War II. In addition, the government, among other entities, sent tungsten ore to be refined at the Site during World War II and for some time thereafter.
“The remediation of Superfund sites to protect the environment and the public health in this district is an enforcement priority for this office,” said Roslynn R. Mauskopf, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “This settlement requires those responsible for contributing hazardous wastes to the Site, including the United States itself, to pay for the cleanup. In addition, this settlement will reimburse EPA for a significant portion of its past response costs and return funds to the EPA Hazardous Substance Superfund, thus providing funding for EPA to perform future cleanups at other sites.”
“Polluters must pay to clean up the sites that they contaminated,” stated EPA Region 2 Administrator Alan Steinberg. “Settlements like this ensure that the Superfund continues to work for the residents of New York.”
EPA incurred its costs while performing a number of actions at the Site that have contributed to its anticipated remediation, including the extraction and decontamination of more than 270 tanks used in the tungsten extraction process and the demolition of several contaminated and unstable buildings which housed such tanks. The Agency, utilizing its own funds and funds provided by the City of Glen Cove, has also completed the excavation and segregation of radioactively-contaminated soils on a portion of the Site known as the Captain’s Cove property. Thereafter, using funds provided from an interim settlement between TDY and the United States, EPA disposed of those materials in 2005.
The proposed settlement will be subject to a 30-day public comment period and subsequent judicial approval. It is available on the Justice Department website at http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html
This case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah B. Zwany, Trial Attorney Peter Kautsky, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and Assistant Regional Counsel James Doyle of EPA. The settling federal agencies were represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin Mulry and Artemis Lekakis.
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