Rep. Norcross: Record Bankruptcy Court Settlement Delivers $222 Million Win for Local Enviro Cleanup
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ01) announced that the ongoing environmental cleanup at the Welsbach and General Gas Mantle site, which spans Camden and Gloucester Cities, has been awarded $222 million as a result of a historic court settlement.
The $222 million award for the Welsbach and General Gas Mantle cleanup effort comes as part of a record $5.15 billion settlement initiated by the U.S. Justice Department alleging that Anadarko Petroleum and subsidiaries fraudulently moved assets to evade liability for contamination at Superfund sites around the country. The Welsbach and the General Gas Mantle Companies were among America’s premier energy providers at the turn of the century, manufacturing up to 250,000 incandescent gas mantles a day. From the late 1890s to 1941 their products contained radioactive material thorium, which more recently has been correlated with increased risks of certain types of cancer. This material contaminated the soil and surrounding properties and has plagued the community for decades.
“For too many generations, South Jersey families have been forced to live with the consequences left behind by these now-defunct manufacturers,” said Congressman Norcross. “While remediation measures have been taken over the years, this monumental settlement delivers peace of mind and justice for countless residents concerned that their safety and property values have been taken for granted.”
In April of last year, the United States Department of Justice announced the $5.15 billion settlement and opened up the process for public comment prior to seeking judicial approval. Late last year, the agreement was approved by the court and money has begun being awarded to Superfund projects nationwide.