Wednesday, October 11, 2006

W.R. Grace Must Pay Asbestos Costs

Article in today's Los Angeles Times -- Firm Must Pay Asbestos Costs, by Sam Howe Verhovek:

    The Supreme Court on Tuesday let stand lower court rulings that require W.R. Grace & Co.
    to pay a $54.5-million federal bill for asbestos cleanup in a Montana mining town described
    by federal regulators as one of the nation's most contaminated Superfund sites.

    The court rejected Grace's appeal of a decision in favor of the Environmental Protection
    Agency, which sued Grace five years ago to recover the cleanup costs at a vermiculite
    mine in the town of Libby.

    The government is also pursuing a criminal case involving several former executives or
    managers of the mining company for allegedly concealing health risks at the mine.

The New York Times article, High Court Won't Consider Asbestos Case, from the Associated Press, quotes the Ninth Circuit opinion:

     ''The situation confronting the EPA in Libby is truly extraordinary,'' the appeals court wrote
    in its opinion in December. ''We cannot escape the fact that people are sick and dying as
    a result of this continuing exposure.''


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