CONCORD, N.H., AUG. 22 -- General Electric Co. and two other companies have agreed to pay nearly $2.7 million, 60 percent of costs at a New Hampshire toxic-waste dump, in partial settlement of one of the first "Superfund" cleanup cases to go through trial.
Friday's agreement followed more than four years of litigation and 10 months of federal court trial in two phases on liability and damages for the one-acre Ottati and Goss site and the adjacent 5.8-acre Kingston Steel Drum dump in Kingston.
General Electric, Solvents Recovery Service of New England Inc. and Lilly Industrial Coatings Inc. agreed to pay nearly $2.7 million for cleaning up and monitoring water at the Ottati and Goss site, Attorney General Stephen Merrill said.
Under a separate agreement earlier this month, a company found responsible for dumping less than 1 percent of the toxic waste at the site, K.J. Quinn and Co. Inc., agreed to pay $270,000 to the Environmental Protection Agency and $30,000 to New Hampshire's hazardous-waste cleanup fund.
"We have by no means closed the case," said Jeremy Korzenick, an assistant state attorney general. "For one, there are other liable parties."
U.S. District Court Judge Martin Loughlin is considering who will pay how much of the remaining 40 percent of cleanup costs at the Ottati and Goss site.
The judge is also considering the federal and state governments' request to require two other companies to pay for cleaning the Kingston Steel Drum site.
They were among 12 companies and individuals sued by federal and state governments and the town of Kingston, which are trying to recover millions of dollars spent for cleaning up both sites and to collect millions more to finish the job.
The sites are on the Environmental Protection Agency's superfund national priority list. The fund pays for emergency cleanups and governments collect from the responsible parties later.
The EPA in January recommended a $15 million cleanup of the Kingston site. The agency already has spent more than $4 million at the site, mostly to remove 4,400 barrels of hazardous waste in 1982.
Loughlin ruled in December 1985 that landowners, operators of former drum-storage and drum-reconditioning companies, and companies that shipped waste to the sites were liable for cleanup costs.