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U.S. Announces Settlement of Superfund Case to Complete the Cleanup of the Mattiace Petrochemical Site in Glen Cove, New York
Release Date: 06/19/2003
|NEW YORK - ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, TOM SANSONETTI, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division, and JANE KENNY, Regional Administrator, United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2, today announced the settlement of a civil environmental case with 84 parties to fund and complete the cleanup at the Mattiace Petrochemical Company Superfund site in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York. The settlement, valued at approximately $15 million, includes $1.3 million to reimburse EPA for past costs at the site. The State of New York, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration joined EPA in this settlement, which includes $200,000 to fund restoration projects for natural resource damages. The Consent Decree was approved by the United States District Judge Joanna Seybert, at the U. S. Courthouse in Central Islip, New York.
"This office and our partners in law enforcement will vigorously pursue those who have contributed to pollution in this district and make sure they are held to account for their actions," stated United States Attorney MAUSKOPF. "I am gratified that the companies settling today have accepted their environmental responsibilities, and I applaud the creative financing structure now in place to assure that these companies will successfully complete the necessary cleanup." EPA Regional Administrator KENNY stated, "This is an important and creative settlement that ensures the highest cleanup standards will be met and the health of those living near the site will continue to be protected. While this was not an easy agreement to reach, because of the large number of involved parties, it stands as a shining example of how companies can cooperate to clean up contaminated sites."
Mattiace, a former chemical solvent distribution company in Glen Cove, New York, operated from the early 1960s through 1987. From 1974 to 1983, the company also operated the M&M Drum Company at the site, where it cleaned and reconditioned thousands of drums containing industrial solvent residues. In 1987, after litigation with the New York State and EPA concerning numerous violations of waste-handling and environmental laws, the facility closed, and in 1988, EPA was called in to remove more than 120,000 gallons of liquid hazardous industrial solvents. Following the emergency removal of hazardous liquids, EPA conducted an assessment that determined the extent of groundwater and soil contamination, and removed tanks, cisterns, buried drums and some contaminated soil. EPA also demolished and removed all of the structures at the site.
In June 2000, EPA completed construction of an integrated facility on the Mattiace site to clean up an estimated 28,000 cubic yards of soil and one-half billion gallons of groundwater throughout its lifetime. Soil cleanup is expected to take approximately three more years to complete, while the groundwater treatment may continue for another 25 years. EPA will oversee all cleanup activities at the site, and TRC Companies Inc./TRC Engineers Inc., an environmental contractor, was hired by the settling parties to perform the actual cleanup, primarily involving groundwater treatment and soil vapor extraction, a process that uses vacuum wells to remove hazardous gases from the soil.
In a unique agreement, TRC signed the Consent Decree and accepted responsibility, along with the other parties, for carrying out the cleanup work although it was not otherwise liable for work at the site. Although TRC will conduct the cleanup, the principal settling parties remain fully liable to achieve the required environmental standards. In addition, the settling parties have contracted with an insurance carrier, Commerce and Industry Insurance Company, a member company of American International Group, Inc., for cleanup funding and to insure the risk of cost overruns. The settling parties will also reimburse EPA for any future costs it incurs while overseeing the cleanup.
The owners and former operators of the polluted site, William J. Mattiace, Loius J. Mattiace, Otto P. Mattiace and Mattiace Industries Inc., are required under the Consent Decree to grant access to it, and to deed away all ownership rights as the United States directs at the appropriate time.
The government's case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stanley N. Alpert. EPA was represented by Assistant Regional Counsels Carl P. Garvey and Mary E. Greene.
The Department of Justice was represented by Trial Attorney Jonathan Marks.
The Settling Parties:
The following parties have settled their liability through a "de minimis" settlement, a payment that recognizes the small amount of waste they contributed to the site:
Aerolac Co. Inc.; American National Red Cross; Avanel Industries Inc.; BAE SYSTEMS Information and Electronics Systems Integration Inc.; Beacon Chemical Co. Inc.; Brenner Paper Products Company Inc.; Central Aviation and Marine Co. and Greenwich Air Services and GE Aircraft Engines; ChemAid Laboratories Inc.; City Enameling Corporation; Contract Pharmacal Corporation; Crown Cork & Seal Company, Inc.; Cytec Industries Inc. and its joint venture CYRO Industries; Dayton T. Brown Inc.; Diversified Screen Process Inc.; Esco Technologies Inc.; Flint Ink Corp.; Gasser & Sons Inc.; Garrett General Aviation Services and GE Engine Services - Miami Inc. and GE Aircraft Engines; G.J. Chemical Co. Inc. and MPC Chemical Sales Corp.; Great Neck Saw Manufacturing Inc.; Hilord Chemical Corporation; H.T.A. Steel Specialty Equipment Corp.; J. Sussman Inc.; Keyspan Energy; Lyondell Chemical Company; Mac-Art Spray Finishing Corp.; Meenan Oil Co. L.P.; MTA Long Island Rail Road; MTA New York City Transit; New York Bus Service; Newco Inc.; North Shore University Hospital; Pall Corporation; Shorewood Packaging Corp.; Slater Development Corp.; Standard Motor Products Inc.; Starloid Plastic Corp.; Supreme Poly Products Incorporated; Tekni-Plex Inc.; The Hertz Corporation; Tishcon Corp.; Topco Inc.; Uniflex Inc.; and Vitale Bottle Gas Corp.