NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced on Tuesday that he has reached a landmark $154 million settlement with the former General Motors Corporation to help clean up and redevelop land the company left behind.
The funds from the former GM, now known as Motors Liquidation Company, will go towards cleaning former GM sites in Massena, N.Y. and Salina, N.Y., and will be used to combat pollution that threatens public health and safety in those communities, Schneiderman says. The money will also be used to make the sites attractive for economic development in the future.
"When General Motors shut down these facilities in the state, they left behind acres of contaminated land that threaten public health and the environment and represent major obstacles to local economic development efforts in many New York communities," Schneiderman said.
"The money secured yesterday in this landmark bankruptcy settlement will make a critical contribution to the effort to clean up GM's legacy of pollution, and return the Massena and Inland Fisher Guide sites to safe, economically productive use by their communities."
The 65-acre Inland Fisher Guide site in Salina suffers from PCB contamination and will receive $33.2 million, Schneiderman says.
Schneiderman also said that his office will continue to try to recover additional funds to further remediate and redevelop other sites in New York where GM has obligations.
GM filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Since then, the New York Attorney General's Office has tried to ensure that bankruptcy funds are dedicated to addressing allegedly contaminated sites in the state.
Under terms of the agreement, an "Environmental Response Trust" was established, which will require an administrative trustee to supervise the cleanup effort in cooperation with the states and federal Environmental Protection Agency.
It also created an administrative funding account to cover costs normally associated with owning property, including site maintenance, utilities, local taxes, security and other expenses associated with redevelopment at the Massena and Salina properties.
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New York Attorney General
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)