WASHINGTON - W.R. Grace has agreed to pay the largest sum in the history of the U.S. Superfund program to clean up asbestos contamination in Montana.
The Justice Department announced Tuesday that the company would pony up $250 million for the chemical decontamination project in Libby that began in 2001.
The deal settles a bankruptcy claim brought by the federal government in order to recover costs for the cleanup of homes, businesses and schools that were contaminated by asbestos during the time W.R. Grace operated a vermiculite mine in the area. The vermiculite was laced with cancer-causing asbestos, the Justice Department said in a written statement.
The settlement is to be paid in 30 days and will be deposited in the Superfund to cover past and future costs of the ongoing cleanup.
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