U.S. Water News Online
ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. -- Efforts by bankrupt Marcal Paper
Mills Inc. to resurrect itself are being complicated by a federal
demand for nearly $1 billion for pollution cleanup.
The Environmental Protection Agency filed a claim as part of
Marcal's bankruptcy proceeding for $947 million to help clean a
stretch of the Passaic River that federal environmental officials say
was polluted with dioxins and PCBs from Marcal's paper plant.
Pollution in the lower Passaic in northern New Jersey has been
blamed on scores of sources, including a former herbicide factory in
Newark, but the EPA says that because the area is on the federal
Superfund list, the agency has the right to charge a single
contributor for the entire cleanup, according to an agency spokesman.
"The pollution has many sources and we need to make sure the river
is cleaned up," EPA spokesman David Kleusner said.
Marcal, of Elmwood Park, says the EPA's demands are holding up its
bankruptcy reorganization plan, in which a private equity firm has
agreed to provide millions.
"The (reorganization) plan does not contemplate the payment of a
$946 million claim," company attorney Michael Sirota told The
Star-Ledger of Newark.
Marcal Paper Mills makes toilet paper, kitchen towels, napkins and
The company filed its voluntary Chapter 11 reorganization
bankruptcy petition in November, blaming rising energy costs for its
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