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Energy Firm Pays Record Settlement in Clean-up Case

A report on national newswire services reported that Anadarko Petroleum Corp. recently settled to pay more than $5 billion to clean up sites across the country that created health problems through such pollutants as nuclear fuel, wood creosote and rocket fuel waste.

A Reuters story dated April 3 reported that the agreement is the resolution to a long-standing lawsuit against Kerr-McGree, a chemical and energy company that Anadarko purchased in 2006.

Kerr-McGree previously owned the White King and Lucky Lass uranium mines that operated in the 1950s near Lakeview.

A trust represented the federal government, 11 state governments, Indian tribes and individuals sought cleanup costs at more than 2,000 sites across the country, the story reported.

More than 8,000 people reported exposure to wood treatment plants operated by Avoca, Penn. and Manville, N.J. that caused cancer, the story said.

This settlement is reportedly the largest environmental settlement ever settled by the Department of Justice, eclipsing the BP oil spill of 2010 that led to $4 billion in criminal fines for the British company.

Anadarko stands to receive a $550 million tax benefit from this agreement, the story reported.

The $5.15 billion settlement on behalf of Anadarko is slated to fund several cleanup projects. Kerr-McGee reportedly attempted to cleanup responsibilities turning over an  Oklahoma nuclear fuel plant to the Tronox firm, which used a bankruptcy filing (ultimately settled in 2011) to avoid the environmental responsibilities.  These responsibilities were assigned to a litigation trust that then sued Anadarko and Kerr-McKee, alleging a fraudulent attempt by Kerr-McGee to avoid its environmental responsibilities.

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