"This agreement marks a milestone in efforts to clean up Superfund sites in the Great Lakes region, and especially to address the legacy of paper-mill-generated PCB contamination in the Kalamazoo River watershed", US Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark said on Wednesday.
The agreement calls on NCR to spend $135.7 million to clean about 80 miles of the Kalamazoo River, pay $76.5 million to EPA for past and future river cleanup costs, $27 million to the Kalamazoo River Natural Resource Trustee Council and $6 million to the State of Michigan, the release said.
PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, were routinely disposed of by paper mills into US rivers in the 1970s, the release said. The EPA Superfund program targets heavily polluted sites throughout the US for cleanup and other remedial action, the release added.
The affected portion of the Kalamazoo River was added to the EPA’s Superfund list in 1990, according to the release. The consent decree requires court approval to take effect.