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Rockwell Corp.

Russellville, KY: (Aug-07-07) The state of Kentucky brought a lawsuit against Rockwell Corp., alleging that the Russellville facility polluted the environment by releasing cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from its former plant. Until the mid 1970s, the Rockwell plant used hydraulic fluid containing PCBs. Some of the fluid entered groundwater, streams and rivers beneath and near the facility. Because PCBs persist in the environment, remediating their release is a lengthy process.

In a recent development, Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher announced that Rockwell had reached a settlement with the state in which it agreed to pay $10 million to end the long drawn out suit against it. The $10 million settlement includes a record payment to Kentucky of $2 million in civil penalties and a payment of $2.5 million in natural resource damages. The latter payment is in compensation for injury, destruction or loss of natural resources held in trust by the state. In addition to the penalties and natural resource damages, the settlement contains $3.5 million in local water and sewer projects to benefit citizens in the area and $2 million to improve environmental compliance across Kentucky.

Though Rockwell sold the plant in 1989, it continues to address the contamination. Rockwell also will fund a $2 million statewide environmental compliance assistance program to be conducted by the University of Kentucky under the oversight of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC). This program will provide assistance to small businesses, cities and other organizations in complying with air, water and waste requirements. [NEWS DEMOCRATE & LEADER: PCB CONTAMINATION]

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Published on Aug-8-07


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