Toxic Waste Settlement Announced By Company

WASHINGTON (AP) - A company involved in cleaning up an Ohio toxic-waste site has agreed to reimburse the federal government $14.7 million for cleanup costs at the dump.

Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. (3M) will also pay $800,000 to the National Park Service for damaging natural resources at the now-closed Krejci Dump in Summit County in northeast Ohio, according to the settlement announced this week. The polluted 47 acres are now part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, between Cleveland and Akron.

"Settlement of this case represents a major milestone in the 26-year history of this park," said John P. Debo, Jr., the park's superintendent. "Now we can at last proceed to restore the ecological integrity of this seriously degraded area."

The company had argued that the park service should share in the cleanup and that the federal government should have gotten more money from other polluters.

Settlements finalized last year with auto manufacturers accused of dumping at the site included $5.5 million in reimbursements to the federal government and a $30 million plan to complete the cleanup by removing contaminated soil.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency investigators in 1986 found 5,000 leaking drums filled with solvents, paint wastes, industrial sludges and herbicides. Testing and cleanup of the surface materials began in 1987.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)