$3.7 million to restore Alabama natural resources - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

$3.7 million to restore Alabama natural resources

Federal, state agencies announce $3.7 million to restore Alabama natural resources

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Story By NOAA


Four federal and state trustee agencies have announced $3.7 million in funds following a natural resource damages settlement to restore natural resources and habitats harmed by hazardous substances released from a manufacturing site in McIntosh, Ala.
The funds are part of a $5 million settlement with BASF Corporation, the company that acquired the Ciba­Geigy Corporation's McIntosh facility.

Beginning in the 1950s, the facility manufactured DDT, a pesticide used to combat disease­carrying insects, as well as other pesticides, herbicides, and various agricultural and industrial chemicals. During those years, hazardous wastes from the facility were released into unlined pits on the property and discharged into the Tombigbee River and its adjacent floodplain.

The settlement was negotiated by the U.S. Department of Justice's Environment and Natural
Resources Division on behalf of the trustees.
The natural resource trustees—NOAA, Department of Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Geological Survey of
Alabama— began a cooperative natural resource damage assessment with the responsible
party in 2005 to identify resource injuries and the amount of restoration needed. The trustees act on behalf of the public to protect and restore natural resources.

Nearly $3.2 million of the $5 million BASF settlement will be used to plan, implement, and
oversee restoration projects and/or acquire lands within the Mobile Bay watershed to
compensate for resources injured as a result of exposure to contaminants from the facility.
The state of Alabama will receive $500,000 to fund additional ecosystem restoration efforts
through support of the Alabama Aquatic Biodiversity Center.

The remaining funds will reimburse the Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA for their past assessment costs.  The use of DDT was banned in the United States in 1972 because of its harmful effects on the environment, wildlife and the public. Once released, DDT persists in the environment for a long time and increases in concentrations up the food chain.


Story By NOAA:  http://www.darrp.noaa.gov/southeast/ciba/index.html

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