Comment Sought on Superfund Consent Decree

“The public is invited to comment on a proposed settlement agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a number of companies and individuals, settling their liability under the Superfund law for portions of the Commencement Bay Nearshore/Tideflats Superfund site.The consent decree would resolve liability for sediment cleanup in the Hylebos Waterway area. Those named in the decree were reportedly believed to have contributed hazardous substances to the Hylebos.An outside allocator has concluded how much each of the parties should pay towards EPA’s past response costs for studies and how much they should pay toward cleanup. Based on current information, EPA has stated that they have determined that the contribution of hazardous substances from facilities owned or operated by those listed is minimal in comparison to other sources of contamination. None of those named currently own or operate properties or facilities that have contaminated marine sediments requiring remediation, or are contributing to the contamination of the waterway.Those listed will pay EPA $762,086 to resolve their liability for past and future costs in the Hylebos. EPA will be reimbursed $354,200 for the costs incurred in studies of the Hylebos Waterway, and $407,886 will be placed in a special account to conduct or finance future cleanup.The settlement does not resolve the liability of those listed for natural resource damages or other waterway problem areas in the Superfund site. Those listed, termed “defendants” in EPA materials, are required under the settlement to provide access to their properties and cooperate fully with parties performing studies, monitoring and remedial actions, and must implement any necessary land or water use restrictions required to carry out remedial action or protect a remedy put in place.Copies of the proposed consent decree are available at the Tacoma Public Library, Main Branch, in the Northwest Room; at Citizens for a Health Bay, 917 Pacific Avenue, Suite 406; and at the EPA Superfund Records Center, 1200 Sixth Avenue, seventh floor, Seattle.Comments will be accepted until November 24, and should refer to United States vs. Bay Chemical Company, et al., No. C-995521 (RJB), DOJ Ref. #90-11-2-06010. Written comments may be sent to:Assistant Attorney GeneralEnvironment & Natural Resources DivisionU.S. Department of JusticeP.O. Box 7611Washington, D.C. 20044-7611.”