Update: Feds Ink $33M Enviro Deal With Defunct Magnesium Cos.

Published in US Magnesium

More than 18 years after accusing two now-defunct magnesium companies of polluting at a production facility in Utah, federal agencies announced Monday that they’ve reached a settlement under which the companies’ trustee and others will fund a $33 million cleanup.

Under the deal with the trustee to Magnesium Corporation of America and Renco Metals Inc., the U.S. will score bankruptcy claims in the amount of $82.1 million, which is expected to yield about $28 million toward remediation. Another $5.8 million is expected to come from the current operator of the magnesium production facility, US Magnesium LLC.

“Polluters will be held to account, even in bankruptcy, for contaminating the environment,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman of the Southern District of New York said in a release. “As a result of today’s settlement, MagCorp and Renco Metals will pay more than $33 million to fund cleanup of the hazardous substances at the US Magnesium Superfund Site.”

The U.S. sued MagCorp and Renco in January 2001, claiming that MagCorp, which was then the largest magnesium producer in the country, created ditches of polluted run-off on a site adjacent to the Great Salt Lake as a result of its production. MagCorp’s facility in Tooele County, Utah, was designated a Superfund site in 2009. Click here to continue.

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Why We Care

  • Several years ago I was enchanted by Alfred Lambourne’s romanticized paintings of the Great Salt Lake, so began my own quest to explore its islands and capture what I saw in quick, plein air, oil sketches.

    I made many day-trips to Black Rock and spent a significant amount of time camping on Stansbury and Antelope Islands, climbing their trails and swimming in their bays. My paintings became my diary as I observed the changing light and shadow on the rocks and water. The brine flies and gnats often hovered over my shoulder anxious to immortalize themselves in the sticky colorful oil paint.

    Kirk Henrichsen, Alfred Lambourne Prize Participant