The United States settled the legal claims against Montrose Chemical Corporation and other defendants relative to
the natural resource damages and response costs in four separate consent decree
settlement agreements. The final consent decree was entered in court on March
15, 2001. A total of $140.2 million was paid by the defendants into
interest-bearing escrow accounts to reimburse the governments' damage
assessment and legal costs and to pay for natural resource restoration and
cleanup activities. Of this amount, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control received $66.25
million; the Natural Resource Trustees (Trustees) received $63.95 million.
U.S. EPA Cleanup
The U.S. EPA and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control are using a share of the funds to address the contaminated
sediments offshore (for example, through investigating the feasibility of covering the contaminated sediments with clean sediments). Through
the the Fish Contamination and Education Collaborative (FCEC) , the agencies
have initiated outreach efforts to reduce public consumption and to
prevent commercial catch of contaminated fish.
The Trustees have used $35 million to reimburse past damage assessment costs and, through the
Montrose Settlements Restoration Program (MSRP)
are using the remainder plus the accumulated interest to plan and implement the actions necessary to restore the natural resources and services
harmed by the releases of DDTs and PCBs off the coast of Southern California. The MSRP has released a Restoration
Plan and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Environmental
Impact Report (EIR) describing the restoration planning
process and alternatives for restoration using those funds. The Restoration Activities page offers
a detailed description of restoration planning and project updates.
An additional $10 million is being held in a special account, and will fund natural resource restoration in the
event that EPA makes a decision not to select any in-situ response or remedial
action for the Palos Verdes Shelf.