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$9.5M Preliminary Settlement Approved in Agrico Chemical Fertilizer Plant Pollution Class Action

This is a settlement for the Environment Law lawsuit.

Pennsicola, FL: Preliminary approval of a $9.5 million settlement has been granted in an environmental class action lawsuit concerning pollution in East Hill from a superfund site near Penniscola Bay, Florida.

The class action alleges pollution from the an now defunct Agrico Chemical Co., fertilizer plant in central Pensacola. Specifically, the plaintiffs claim that pollution from the plant seeped into groundwater and migrated southeast toward Bayou Texar and Pensacola Bay. The site is now owned by ConocoPhillips.

The preliminary settlement approval will allow a fund administrator to contact approximately 5,000 property owners in the affected area and offer them participation in the settlement. The environmental class action lawsuit was filed in 2008.

The settlement establishes two settlement areas of 2,500 parcels each, namely, Thomas Sub-Class and the Rabin Sub-Class. The Thomas Sub-Class suffered more from the pollution, and will receive greater compensation, of approximately $2,500 to $3,000 per parcel. Property owners in the Rabin-Sub Class will likely receive $200 to $250 each.

The Agrico plant opened in 1889 and closed in 1975. The site was added to the US Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund list in 1989.

An earlier lawsuit reached a $70 million out-of-court settlement to compensate some 3,000 property owners who were closer to the plant.

A second hearing is set for September to finalize the settlement.

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Published on May-3-13


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