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Remedial/Injury Assessment
Case: Saint Lawrence River/Alcoa/GM, NY

During 2006, granulated activated carbon (GAC) was applied to less than 1 acre of the lower Grasse River to evaluate its ability to sequester PCBs within the sediments and reduce PCBs in the water column and biota. During 2006, granulated activated carbon (GAC) was applied to less than 1 acre of the lower Grasse River to evaluate its ability to sequester PCBs within the sediments and reduce PCBs in the water column and biota.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its co-Trustees participated in a cooperative natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) to evaluate injury to ecological resources, recreational fishing, and tribal culture with Alcoa and General Motors Corporation (GM) until GM entered into bankruptcy in June 2009, when the process continued with Alcoa. At the time of the bankruptcy filing, GM was the second-largest automotive manufacturer in the world. Once GM entered into bankruptcy, NOAA and its co-trustees continued to work cooperatively with Alcoa (Reynolds acquired by Alcoa in 2000) to assess natural resource damages to the Grasse, Raquette and St. Lawrence Rivers and adjacent areas impacted by releases of hazardous substances such as PCBs, PAHs, aluminum, fluoride, cyanide and metals.

On April 1, 2011, NOAA and its co-trustees entered into a settlement agreement with Motors Liquidation Company (Old GM), formerly General Motors Corporation. Under the terms of the GM bankruptcy Consent Decree (CD), the natural resource trustees have realized $2.06 million, to date, for restoration and additional funds to reimburse costs incurred to conduct the NRDA.

On March 27, 2013, the Trustees reached a settlement with Alcoa and Reynolds valued at $19.4 million. Under the terms of the Alcoa/Reynolds NRD CD, which was entered by the court on July 17, 2013, natural resource liability will be resolved for injury to ecological resources, recreational fishing and tribal culture and pay the trustees' outstanding past assessment costs. Alcoa will construct 5 recreational fishing access projects (4 new, 1 improvement) valued at $1.78 million and will purchase approximately 460 acres of land in St. Lawrence County to be managed by New York State ($1.03 million). In addition, Alcoa will pay the trustees $7.28 million for ecological restoration and $8.39 million for cultural restoration. The remaining funds will reimburse the trustees for past assessment costs.

The two settlements are valued at $20.5 million for restoration. The total value of these settlements and prior payments is about $25.5 million. A Restoration and Compensation Determination Plan (RCDP) is attached to the Alcoa/Reynolds CD. The RCDP documents the injury to natural resources from the GM, Reynolds and Alcoa Sites and the restoration preferred by the trustees. The trustees released a revised final RCDP after addressing public comments received during the public comment period.



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