New York City Opposes Chemtura Cleanup Settlement

The City of New York and National Grid NY oppose a settlement between Chemtura Corp., the bankrupt Connecticut chemical maker, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, saying it’s unfair and not in the public interest.

Chemtura, which emerged from Chapter 11 protection in November, needs final approval of environmental settlements that involve the Gowanus Canal, a toxic site in New York, following a period that sought public comment. According to court papers filed by the U.S. today, one comment was received, from the City of New York and Brooklyn Union Gas Co., which does business as National Grid.

“At this time, there is simply no way to determine if the proposed agreement will provide enough money to pay Chemtura’s significant share of the liability caused by its operations on the Gowanus Canal,” the city and National Grid said in a letter dated Nov. 12.

The U.S. said it supports the agreement, which requires Chemtura to clean two sources of ongoing pollution to the Gowanus Canal. The settlement allows the EPA a $3.9 million claim in Chemtura’s bankruptcy to resolve its claim that Chemtura was one of many parties that should contribute to clean-up costs of around $1 billion.

National Grid is also a “potentially responsible party” for pollution at the site, according to the EPA.

The case is In re Chemtura Corp., 09-11233, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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