Local & Regional
5:15 pm
Thu December 10, 2009

Dollars for Clean-up

Oklahoma City, OK – Oklahoma will receive almost $40 million to fund environmental cleanup and restoration at contaminated mining sites in the state, Attorney General Drew Edmondson said today.

The funds are Oklahoma's share of a settlement reached by the federal government, 19 states, several tribal governments and American Smelting and Refining Co. LLC (ASARCO). The settlement is part of the Arizona company's bankruptcy reorganization.

"We, along with the federal government, other states and tribes, have been pursuing this case since the company filed for bankruptcy in 2005," Edmondson said. "These funds will be put to use by Oklahoma environmental agencies to clean up hazardous waste damage and restore our natural resources."

Oklahoma will receive $39.7 million. Of that, Edmondson said, about $28.6 million will be used by the Tar Creek Trustee Council to repair natural resource damages at the Tar Creek Superfund site. Another $8.8 million will be divided between the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Oklahoma Secretary of the Environment for response costs and natural resources damages at Tar Creek. DEQ will use the remaining $2.2 million for past and future response costs at U.S. Zinc sites in Henryetta and Kusa and the Federated Metals site in Sand Springs.

Nationally the settlement is valued at $1.79 billion and addresses environmental cleanup and restoration at more than 80 hazardous material sites in 19 states.