Settlement Reached For Cleanup of Asbestos Mine
Joseph W. Belluck, a partner at the New York law firm of Belluck & Fox, LLP, says the cleanup of the Vermont asbestos group mine site is long overdue
New York (PRWEB) July 21, 2009
A legal settlement allowing for the cleanup and monitoring on the nation's largest former chrysotile asbestos mine and mill helps raise awareness of the prevalence of asbestos in society, says a New York personal injury attorney who concentrates in asbestos litigation.
"The cleanup of the Vermont asbestos group mine site is long overdue," said Joseph W. Belluck, a partner at the New York law firm of Belluck & Fox, LLP, which handles asbestos-related injury cases. "Public access to the site should be controlled immediately, and runoff from the site stopped to protect the public from exposure."
The U. S. Department of Justice and state of Vermont announced earlier this month a legal settlement with the former owner of the asbestos mine and mill to address industrial contamination at the Vermont site and 12 other sites around the country. In legal filings, the Justice Department had said the contamination posed a threat to public health and the environment.
The consent decree, filed July 2 in the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey, is In re: 0-1 Holdings Inc., et al (Case Nos. 01-30135 (RG) and 01-38790 (RO).
Under terms of the consent decree, G-I Holdings, Inc., a private New Jersey company that manufactures roofing materials, will take steps to fence and secure the 1,673-acre abandoned mine and mill site and will monitor air emissions from the site.
The site has two towering piles of mine and mill tailings that are eroding and harming downstream creeks, justice officials say. The piles also attract hikers, rock collectors and ATV enthusiasts who may unknowingly be exposing themselves to airborne asbestos. Inhaling microscopic asbestos fibers can cause serious respiratory illnesses including lung cancer and mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs.
"This is a reminder of how widespread asbestos contamination remains in our communities and how important it is to minimize asbestos exposure," Belluck said.
G-I, which has been in bankruptcy protection since 2001, will reimburse the federal government and Vermont for up to $25.8 million of the estimated $300 million for past and future cleanup costs.
The Vermont site is the most significant of 13 contaminated industrial sites covered by the settlement, according to the Justice Department. The federal government has up to 10 years to bring claims for cleanup costs and environmental damage at three related heavily-contaminated industrial sites in New York and New Jersey, known collectively as the Linden sites.
The consent decree is subject to public comment for 30 days and court approval.
About Belluck & Fox, LLP
Belluck & Fox, LLP (http://www. belluckfox. com/) is a nationally recognized law firm that represents individuals with asbestos and mesothelioma claims, as well as victims of crime, medical malpractice, motorcycle crashes, lead paint and other serious injuries. The firm has won more than $200 million in compensation for its clients and their families.
Partner Jordan Fox is a well-known asbestos and mesothelioma attorney who has been named to the Best Lawyers in America, New York Magazine's "The Best Lawyers in the New York Area" and to Super Lawyers. On two separate occasions his verdicts were featured as the National Law Journal's Largest Verdict of the Year.
Partner Joseph W. Belluck is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in New York Magazine's "The Best Lawyers in the New York Area" and in Super Lawyers. Mr. Belluck has won numerous cases involving injuries from asbestos, defective medical products, tobacco and lead paint, including a recent asbestos case that settled for more than $12 million.
For more information, contact the firm at 877-695-2909 or through the online contact form (http://www. belluckfox. com/contact_us. html).