ExxonMobil Oil Corp., BP Products North America Inc., Shell, and over 50 other businesses will work together to clean up a Superfund site as part of a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. The agreement addresses historical hazardous waste dumping in a Tacoma-area bay that is connected to the Tribes’ fishing areas.
The companies will provide funding to restore 121 miles of salmon habitat along the Lower White River which feeds into Commencement Bay, a registered Superfund site. In addition to restoring the habitat, the cleanup will help prevent flooding in nearby residential areas, and the parties have agreed to contribute a collective $1 million for future monitoring at the site.
“This settlement is an important step toward repairing damaged natural resources from pollution in Commencement Bay,” Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden said. The agreement ends a federal lawsuit that asserted blame for the pollution against dozens of companies that presently own or used to own facilities alongside the bay, which has tested for high levels of PCBs, PAHs, cadmium, lead and zinc.