Sins of past, alleged failure to clean cost chemical company

John O'Brien Jul. 8, 2008, 2:18pm


BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - A settlement between Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler's lawsuit and Velsicol Chemical Co. will require the company to pay $200,000 and cleanup contaminated soil at its facility.

Gansler, who has made environmental issues a chief concern, filed the suit in November, claiming Velsicol's Chestertown facility had seeped harmful chemicals into the ground and contaminated groundwater.

"Groundwater pollution at the Velsicol site has been a problem for many years," Gansler said. "I applaud the strong advocacy of the Chester River Association, challenging possible threats to surface water that had not been fully explored.

"CRA's actions set an example for others to add their voices to our collective efforts to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay."

Velsicol must also perform enhanced monitoring of its process wastewater and stormwater discharges and evaluate and take steps to reduce phosphorus in its process wastewater.

The wastewater leak dates back to the 1950s, before Velsicol ran the plant. It purchased it in 1994 from Nuodex, Inc.

Velsicol has already taken steps to monitor and remediate groundwater and soil contamination on parts of the site, Gansler said. He sued the company because it failed to clean up to applicable environmental standards.

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