U.S. Water News Online
PHILADELPHIA -- A complex and innovative settlement worth more than $130 million was reached for the Fike/Artel Chemical Superfund site in Nitro, West Virginia. This so-called "global" settlement with 54 parties, including other federal agencies, reconciles all Superfund costs at the site, and guarantees future cleanup efforts, according to federal officials.
The consent decree for the settlement was entered recently by Judge John Copenhaver of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
"This settlement is an exceptional success on many levels for the Environmental Protection Agency," said EPA Regional Administrator Michael McCabe. "It has replenished the Superfund, reduced costs associated with future enforcement activities, and expedited the ultimate cleanup of the site for beneficial use of the community."
Highlights of the settlement include:
The Fike/Artel Chemical Company is located on the site of a World War I munitions plant. It later operated as a specialty chemical manufacturing facility, and was abandoned in 1988. In 1983, the EPA designated the 12-acre site as a priority for cleanup.
At the time of initial cleanup actions, the EPA considered conditions at the site to be extremely threatening. The potential risk to human health and the environment due to fire, catastrophic explosion, and the continual release of hazardous substances caused EPA to take emergency action to remove the threat. Due to the complexity of the project, the EPA has conducted remedial activities in phases.
EPA estimates remaining cleanup work can be completed within five years.
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