WASHINGTON (Aug. 26, 2010)—Chemtura Corp., a major manufacturer of rubber chemicals, polymers and other specialty chemical products, has resolved its liabilities at 17 Superfund hazardous waste sites across the U.S. for $26 million in cash, according to a press release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Chemtura reached the agreement with the EPA, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, according to the EPA.
In March 2009, Chemtura and its 26 U.S. affiliates filed for Chapter 11 protection in the New York Southern District Bankruptcy Court, citing assets of $3.06 billion and debts of $2.6 billion as of Dec. 31, 2008. At the time of the bankruptcy filing, Chemtura was facing liability for Superfund cleanups in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas, the EPA said.
Some $8 million of Chemtura's settlement money will go for cleanup and restoration work at the Diamond Alkali Superfund site in New Jersey, and another $785,000 will pay penalties arising from a May 2004 fire at Chemtura's Bio-Lab Inc. facility in Conyers, Ga., the EPA said. The rest of the money will go toward future Superfund cleanup work, the agency said.
Chemtura's potential liability at the Gowanus Canal Superfund site in Brooklyn, N.Y., was deliberately left out of the current settlement and will remain the subject of ongoing negotiation, the EPA said.
A Chemtura spokesman said the company was pleased with the settlement. “This resolves the majority of the environmental issues we had pending,” he said.
There is no specified date for Chemtura to leave Chapter 11, the spokesman said, but a confirmation hearing on the company's settlement plan is scheduled for Sept. 16.
Middlebury, Conn.-based Chemtura is a global chemical manufacturer with operations in 13 states and more than 40 countries, with some 4,000 employees worldwide, the EPA said. Its predecessors include Crompton & Knowles Corp., Uniroyal Chemical Corp., Witco Corp. and Great Lakes Chemical Corp.