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Chemical Company Agrees to Clean Up and Pay $800,000 for Asbestos in Massachusetts

W.R. Grace, the chemical company that is accused of asbestos contamination throughout the United States, will pay over $800,000 and will continue cleaning their nine contaminated sites in Massachusetts. Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office, who made the claims on behalf of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), has recently approved the settlement with W.R. Grace. The company will have to pay MassDEP $700,298, including 4.19% interest, and $105,582.97 with 4.19% interest for past clean-up costs.

After hundreds of thousands of lawsuits involving past employees and people living near their plants who were exposed to asbestos, W.R. Grace filed for bankruptcy in 2001. Attorney General Coakley said: “W.R. Grace has the means to pay its environmental liability to the Commonwealth and perform cleanup actions at its contaminated properties…We are gratified that the bankruptcy court agreed it would be wrong to allow Grace to walk away from its responsibilities.”

The nine contaminated sites throughout the state are: the former Zonolite Plant in Easthampton, the Daramic Plant in Acton, the Cambridge Plant in Cambridge, the Knox Trail site in Acton and Concord, a pipeline alongside the Massachusetts Military Reservation in Sandwich, the Acton Superfund site in Acton and Concord, the Wells G&H Superfund site in Woburn, the Blackburn & Union Privileges Superfund site in Walpole, and the Sutton Brook Superfund site in Tewksbury.

Asbestos is a natural mineral fiber that has been commonly used in manufactured products such as building construction materials for insulation and as a fire-retardant. Asbestos is resistance to heat and decay but can eventually break up into microscopic dust fibers that, when inhaled, can remain in the body for years causing numerous lung diseases, cancers, and possibly death.

Workplace exposure of asbestos can be common among people who work in mining industries, and industries that make or use asbestos products on a regular basis. Asbestos exposure at work is most often found in the construction industry (especially when building demolition or renovation jobs are involved), the manufacturing of materials containing asbestos (such as insulation or tiles), and the car repair industry, especially if repairing brakes or clutches.

Our experienced lawyers represent clients throughout Massachusetts who have suffered injuries or illnesses because of unsafe work conditions. If you have a question in regards to a workers’ compensation case and would like a free consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sources:

AG Coakley’s Office Will Recover Over $800,000 From W.R. Grace in Bankruptcy Proceedings, W.R. Grace Also Commits to Perform Ongoing Cleanup of Contaminated Sites
, Office of Attorney General Coakley Press Release, February 15, 2011
Asbestos Information & Resource Guide, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Contact the Massachusetts work injury lawyers at Altman & Altman if you have been injured on the job.

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