Filing Helps Keep Cleanup Burden from Landing Unfairly on Clients
A group of companies joined together to address the site investigation and remediation of a scrap recycling facility in northern New York state under the oversight of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). A significant portion of the anticipated $12.8 million remediation expense for the site is related to PCB contamination arising from the disposal of hydraulic presses and transformers at the site by one of America’s largest companies.
But following a downturn in the economy, that company filed for bankruptcy, creating the potential that it would not pay its estimated one-third share of the ultimate site remediation cost. That could shift the cost to the remaining members of the group to compensate for the shortfall.
Attorneys from our Environmental and Creditors’ Rights practice areas worked to coordinate a response with the group in the bankruptcy proceeding. In addition to filing a proof of claim with the bankruptcy court on behalf of our own client, our attorneys assisted the group in persuading NYSDEC to file its own proof of claim for one-third of the anticipated future remediation costs.
The State agreed to a settlement with the now bankrupt giant for the bulk of its anticipated share of environmental remediation costs and natural resource damages, in excess of $3 million.
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