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Auto Parts Manufacturer Agrees to Pay $4 Million for Contamination Cleanup

  • New York AG Letitia James and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) reached a settlement with auto parts manufacturer American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. (“American Axle”) to resolve allegations that its manufacturing site in Tonawanda, New York, was contaminated with chemicals and petroleum in violation of the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) and state environmental laws.
  • The AG’s office alleged, among other things, that American Axle—and the site’s prior owner, General Motors—mishandled hazardous waste and allowed chemicals to contaminate the ground through cracks in the concrete floors of their facilities, and further contaminated the ground by spilling polychlorinated biphenyl (“PCB”) oil while removing equipment from the site as part of an agreement to sell the site to a third party.
  • Under the terms of the settlement agreement, American Axle will pay the state $3.6 million to resolve its liability under CERCLA, of which $3.575 million will be paid the state and $25,000 will be paid to the DEC’s Natural Resources Damages fund, and also will pay $425,000 to the state’s Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund.