Department of Justice Seal



MONDAY, JULY 19, 1999



TDD (202) 514-1888



Case Represents Last of Four Cases in Love Canal Area

Occidental Chemical Corporation and Olin Corporation have reached a settlement in the last of four Superfund cases in the Love Canal area in Niagra Falls, NY, the Justice Department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the State of New York announced today. Under the terms of the consent decree for the 102nd Street Superfund site, the companies will reimburse the federal government $6 million in cleanup costs, reimburse the State of New York $610,000 in cleanup costs, pay $500,000 for natural resource damages, and undertake two wetlands restoration projects along the Niagara River.

During operation of the 102nd Street landfill, the companies buried more than 150,000 tons of liquid and solid waste at the site, which is on the National Priorities List. The waste included thousand of tons of hazardous substances, including benzene, chlorobenzene, chlorophenols and hexachlorocyclohexanes.

"This settlement is good news for the people of New York and for all Americans who care about the quality of our environment," said Lois J. Schiffer, Assistant Attorney General for Environment and Natural Resources. "We are committed to cleaning up contamination in our communities to help make them safe and livable, and to ensuring that those who are responsible for the pollution pay to clean it up."

The agreement, filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, directs the companies to continue complying with a 1991 EPA order requiring them to prevent the spread of pollution from the site. Since the order was issued, Occidental Chemical (formerly Hooker Chemicals) and Olin have built a wall around the perimeter of the site to contain the plume of contamination. Last Spring, the companies completed construction of a system that will remove and treat the polluted groundwater within the landfill cap. The State of New York will oversee the companies' continued operation and maintenance of these remedial actions under the terms of the agreement.

The 102nd Street Superfund site borders the Niagara River and lies less than one-quarter of a mile south of the Love Canal Superfund site. Today's settlement marks the final chapter of the four Superfund cases in the Love Canal area.

"In addition to recovering in excess of $6 million for the Superfund," said EPA Regional Administrator Jeanne M. Fox, "this settlement for the 102nd Street site also is noteworthy because it represents the last piece of seemingly endless litigation concerning four landfills that are federal Superfund sites in Niagara Falls: Love Canal, Hyde Park, the S-Area as well as 102nd Street. It's been a long road, and it's great to see this litigation come to a conclusion."

Cleanup activities are underway at Love Canal; the Hyde Park and S-Area remedies will be completed next year. EPA and New York State will monitor the effectiveness of these activities.

Under the agreement filed today with Occidental and Olin, the companies will pay $500,000 to resolve potential claims for natural resource damage in addition to reimbursing the federal and state governments for their past cleanup costs. The companies also have agreed to fund two wetlands restoration projects: a one-acre shallow-water habitat in Tonawanda, N.Y., and a two-acre freshwater marsh in Buckhorn Island State Park.

Today's filing opens a 30-day public comment period on the proposed consent decree.