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U.S. Enters into Settlement with RSR Corp. to Clean Up West Dallas Lead Site

Release Date: 4/15/2003
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency and state of Texas today announced that they have entered into a consent decree with RSR Corporation, and its wholly owned subsidiaries, Quemetco Metals Limited, Inc., and Quemetco, Inc., in connection with the RSR Corporation Superfund Site, also known as the West Dallas Lead Site, located in Dallas, Texas.

Under the proposed settlement, RSR will pay $13.25 million into the Superfund account and perform cleanup work at the Site valued at $11.60 million. RSR has also agreed to reimburse the state costs in the amount of $870,000.

"This settlement demonstrates our continuing commitment to ensure that those responsible for contaminating our environment share in the costs of the cleanup," said Tom Sansonetti, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. "We must make certain that we have resources needed to clean up this site in a timely and protective manner."

EPA Region 6 Administrator Richard E. Greene said of the settlement, "This settlement ensures that cleanup of this site will continue, further protecting the health and safety of children and families in the west Dallas area."

In addition to paying a significant portion of the costs EPA incurred cleaning up contamination in the residential areas of west Dallas, RSR has agreed to perform most of the cleanup work that remains to be done at this Site. The $13.25 million in cash payments RSR will make will be placed into a special site account that EPA can use to perform oversight of RSR's work as well as other necessary cleanup activities at the Site. EPA estimates that the Site work to be performed by RSR could be completed in as little as two years.

RSR and its subsidiaries operated a secondary lead smelter, where the companies recovered lead from used batteries, in west Dallas from the 1930's until it permanently ceased operation in 1984. Air emissions from the RSR smelter stack deposited lead and other contamination in some west Dallas neighborhoods. The use of battery chips and lead slag as fill material also contributed to contamination in the community. In addition, lead slag, battery chips and other waste byproducts were disposed of at a number of locations in the area.

Today's announcement represents the latest in a series of settlements that the U.S. has entered into in connection with the RSR Site. Overall, these settlements, involving 29 potentially responsible parties, have resulted in agreements to perform work, or to reimburse response costs, worth about $39 million. Prior settlements enabled work to be performed for the removal of the smelter and related buildings from the Site, and recovered costs incurred by the government in cleaning up of thousands of cubic yards of contaminated soil from the Site and residential areas.

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