WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Dec. 12 that Tecumseh Products Co., Thomas Industries Inc., and Wisconsin Public Service Corp. will pay more than $4.5 million after allegations of natural resource damages at the Sheboygan River & Harbor Superfund site.
“The restoration work enabled by this settlement will make significant contributions to the environment in the area of the Sheboygan River and nearby Lake Michigan,” said acting assistant attorney general Jeffrey H. Wood of the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “We are particularly pleased to have been able to work alongside the state of Wisconsin, the U.S. Department of Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to achieve this positive outcome.”
According to allegations, the three defendant companies are liable for the discharge of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and/or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) over a number of years at the Sheboygan River site. These chemicals can cause damage to natural resources and wildlife. The settlement was brought about under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).
“The Sheboygan River and its wetlands provide important habitats for migratory birds and fish, and support hunting and fishing activities for local residents,” said Charlie Wooley, deputy Midwest regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “[This] settlement means we can help natural resources affected by PCBs and other contaminants and, at the same time, benefit local communities.”