The Zonolite Superfund waste site in Hamilton Township, NJ, is one of 39 sites in 21 states that were involved in the $63 million lawsuit won by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against W.R. Grace & Co. The money will be used to clean up contaminated sites and to repay the EPA for cleanup work done in the past.
As one government official put it, "The Justice Department is committed to holding polluters responsible for their environmental legacy and won't just walk away leaving taxpayers to pick up the tab."
W.R. Grace's payment includes approximately $54 million for the EPA and $9 million for other government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Interior and the U.S. Army. W.R. Grace, a global supplier of specialty chemicals, and 61 affiliated companies filed for bankruptcy in April 2001. A separate settlement reached in 2008 resulted in a payment of $250 million by W.R. Grace to the EPA for work on asbestos contamination in the town of Libby, Montana. The company continues to be responsible for all of the sites it owns or operates and for any additional sites that were not known or resolved under earlier settlements.
In addition to New Jersey, the other states that were contaminated with asbestos and other hazardous substances include Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Wisconsin, North and South Carolina, Texas, California, Maryland, Kentucky, Utah, Illinois, Michigan, Colorado, North Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, Minnesota, and Georgia.