Issue Date: March 17, 2008
W.R. Grace Settles Asbestos Cleanup
Chemical maker W.R. Grace has agreed to pay $250 million to reimburse the federal government for investigation and cleanup costs of asbestos contamination in Libby, Mont., the Justice Department and EPA announced. The settlement is the largest in the history of the Superfund program. Because the company filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2001, the settlement will not have to be paid until 30 days after bankruptcy court approval. W.R. Grace owned and operated a vermiculite mine in Libby from 1963 to 1990, and the vermiculite ore was contaminated with asbestos. The contamination resulted in many cases of lung disease in and around the Libby area. In addition to the cleanup lawsuit, officials of W.R. Grace also face a multiple-charge federal criminal indictment filed in 2006 for which a court date has not been scheduled.
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