Court Says Grace Must Pay For Cleanup

W.R. Grace, the Columbia chemical maker that was forced into bankruptcy protection by asbestos claims, must pay $54.5 million to clean up asbestos contamination in Montana, a federal appeals court ruled. Judge M. Margaret McKeown, writing for the San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, upheld a 2003 district court ruling that Grace must reimburse the federal government for the cost of cleaning soil contaminated with asbestos near a vermiculite mine the company once operated in Libby, Mont. The ruling also holds Grace liable for future cleanup costs.

Grace operated the mine and processing plant in Libby from 1963 to 1990. In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency began removing asbestos-contaminated soil as part of the "Superfund" program to clean up toxic wastes.


Dell CFO to Serve on Lockheed Board

Lockheed Martin named Dell Chief Financial Officer James M. Schneider to its board of directors. Schneider, right, will serve on Lockheed's audit, management development and compensation committees, including the stock option committee, Bethesda-based Lockheed said. Schneider joined Dell in September 1996.


Legg Mason, Citigroup Finish Unit Exchange

Legg Mason completed the swap of its stock brokerage for Citigroup's asset-management unit, a transaction that is valued at $3.7 billion and makes Legg Mason the fifth-biggest money manager in the United States. Legg Mason of Baltimore paid $1.5 billion in stock and about $500 million in cash for the Citigroup business, which manages $400 billion.

WGL Holdings, the parent of Washington Gas Light, lost $11.4 million (23 cents per share) in its fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, an improvement from a loss of $18 million (37 cents) in the comparable period a year earlier. The company said a loss is typical for the quarter because of the seasonal nature of its utility operations, with reduced demand for natural gas in July through September.

For the year, WGL earned $103.5 million ($2.11), up 7 percent from $96.6 million ($1.98) the previous year. The company said profit increased in part because of record earnings from its energy marketing business and continued customer growth at its regulated utility.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.