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UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
REGION III - OFFICE OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
1650 Arch Street  Philadelphia, PA  19103-2029
Phone - 215/814-5120 Fax - 215/814-5102


EPA Environmental News

Contact: Bonnie Lomax (215) 814-5542
April 28, 1998

U.S. SUES FOR $12 MILLION TO CLEAN SUPERFUND SITE

PALMERTON, Pa. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice today announced that the United States has sued four companies to recover EPA's cleanup costs at the Palmerton Zinc Superfund Site in Palmerton, Pa.

The April 17 complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg alleges that the four companies, Horsehead Industries, Inc., Horsehead Resource Development Company
Inc. (HRDC), Viacom International, Inc. and TCI Pacific Communications, Inc. -- have contributed to the hazardous waste contamination at the Carbon County site, which
covers more than 2,000 acres.

The complaint seeks an order requiring the companies to reimburse the U.S. for $12 million in past cleanup costs, as well as a declaration that the companies are liable for
the government's future costs.

Palmerton has been the site of zinc smelting and refining operations since 1898. These activities have contaminated the region with several hazardous substances,including zinc, copper, lead, arsenic and cadmium. Palmerton was listed as a Superfund site in 1983.

Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (the "Superfund" law), the parties responsible for creating hazardous waste sites are
also responsible for site cleanups.

The complaint alleges that the predecessor corporations of Viacom International, Inc., and TCI Pacific Communications operated zinc smelting facilities at Palmerton from
1898 through the late 1960s. The complaint also says that Horsehead Industries began zinc recovery and processing activities at the site in the 1980s.


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