GM agrees to cleanup

By Keith Loria | Dec 16, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray announced on Wednesday that he has reached two settlements totaling $12 million with the former General Motors Corp. over alleged environmental violations.

Cordray was joined in the announcement by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Development.

According to the lawsuit, the now-bankrupt auto manufacturer owned entities that were allegedly responsible for disposing potentially harmful waste at two Dayton-area sites, dating as far back as the 1960s.

The settlements requires the company to pay more than $12 million to clean up these two sites. The newest settlements are in addition to the $39 million in cleanup funds that GM announced for Ohio in October as part of its bankruptcy reorganization proceeding.

The first new agreement will provide $6,732,895 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency so it can perform cleanup at the Garland Road Landfill site just outside of West Milton, Ohio, in Miami County.

A second new agreement will provide $5,329,343 to the DOD for cleanup efforts at the Dayton Tech Town business park site. Disposal of waste allegedly occurred on this land once occupied by the General Motors Harrison Radiator plant, which later became a Delphi property.

The DOD will assist the city of Dayton in overseeing environmental investigation and remediation activity at the site.

"Bringing back this money for Ohio is a notable accomplishment, especially because GM did not even own these particular sites at the time of its bankruptcy," Cordray said.

"With this result, these sites which might otherwise have continued to sit and fester, will now contribute in a positive way to continuing development of the surrounding community. That's why we worked so hard to reach these agreements, and we expect that the remediated sites will be far better able to attract new investment and business in our communities."

The settlement agreements are part of a liquidation plan filed by old GM and must be approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. That ruling is expected in the first half of 2011.

Cordray, OEPA and the DOD joined with the U.S. Department of Justice in October to announce the finalization of another environmental trust agreement with old GM that will provide $39 million in remediation funding for five other Ohio locations that were actually owned by old GM at the time of its bankruptcy.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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