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EPA and DOJ Reach $4 Million Settlement at Chase Brass and Copper Site in Watertown, Conn.

Release Date: 04/20/2006
Contact Information: EPA Office of Public Affairs, 617-918-1010

(Boston, Mass. – April 20, 2006) - Federal officials have reached agreements with The Standard Oil Company and Industrial Holdings Corporation (IHC) to reimburse EPA for cleanup costs at the Chase Brass & Copper site in Watertown, Conn. The Standard Oil Company and IHC will jointly pay $4 million in settlement of EPA’s claims for costs which it incurred in performing a removal action at the site.

The agreement, in the form of a Consent Decree, is subject to a 30-day public comment period which will begin Apr. 20th. Following the public comment period, the United States can move the court to approve and enter the decree.

The 5-acre site, which is located on the west bank of the Naugatuck River in Watertown, had been used as a waste disposal area by the Chase Brass & Copper Company (CB&C). CB&C operated a nearby manufacturing facility from approximately 1868 to 1975, which produced forged copper and brass products. Both The Standard Oil Company and IHC assumed responsibility for the liabilities of CB&C.

An investigation of the site in 2000 revealed that the soil was extensively contaminated with heavy metals, including chromium, copper, lead, nickel and zinc. Erosion threatened to cause migration of the contaminated soil into the Naugatuck River. Between 2000 and 2003, EPA excavated the contaminated soil, consolidated and capped it on-site, and constructed a drainage system to prevent erosion of the capped material.

The Department of Justice lodged the Consent Decree in U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut.

During the public comment period, the proposed Consent Decree may be examined at U.S. EPA Region 1, One Congress Street, Boston, Massachusetts, or on the following Department of Justice website: .

Comments on the Consent Decree should refer to United States v. The Standard Oil Company, et al., D.O.J. Ref. 90-11-3-08073 and sent to:

Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division
P.O. Box 7611
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20044-7611