Tuesday, September 21, 1999
AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn and the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission Executive Director Jeff Saitas today announced an agreement with National Foam Cushion, Ltd. (in Chapter 11 reorganization). The settlement addresses environmental cleanup at City of Natalia and Colorado City sites.
In Natalia, National Foam manufactured carpet padding before being destroyed by fire in February, 1998. The fire caused major contamination of the soil and water. Initial cleanup took care of the worst of the contamination, but the TNRCC continues to monitor the subsequent assessment and cleanup of petroleum hydrocarbons at the site. The remediation contractor at the site has notified the TNRCC that this final phase of cleanup is about to begin. This agreement assures that the site will be cleaned up by National Foam.
"This process has been difficult and time-consuming, but it has been well worth the effort in that the final cleanup of contamination is imminent, and the site will soon be returned to beneficial use," said TNRCC's Jeff Saitas. "It's rare that we see a case in which so much has been lost, but so much is gained in the end."
In addition to its Natalia facility, the company had formerly conducted limited operations at a site in Colorado City adjacent to what is now a State Superfund Site (COLTEX State Superfund Site). This plant also had serious contamination related to both soil contamination and groundwater contamination. This site will also be cleaned up under this agreement.
According to the terms of the agreement, National Foam will spend up to $850,000 in cleaning up the two sites. TNRCC will hold $550,000 as "collateral" while it pursues other responsible parties to the Colorado City groundwater contamination. If TNRCC is unable to get other parties to address the problems, they may use the $550,000 to clean up the Colorado City site. Additionally, National Foam will place $300,000 in an escrow account to complete the soil cleanup at the Natalia and Colorado City sites. At least $25,000 will also be paid to the State of Texas Trustees for Natural Resource Damages.
The agreement was approved today by Judge Massie Tillman of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Worth. This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Hal Morris of the Austin office of the Attorney General's Bankruptcy Division.
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