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In re ASARCO

ELR Citation: 39 ELR 20284
Nos. No. 09-cv-177, (S.D. Tex., 11/12/2009)

A district court approved a bankruptcy reorganization plan requiring a mining company to pay $1.79 billion to fund past and future environmental cleanup and restoration costs incurred by federal and state agencies at more than 80 sites in 19 states. The court approved the plan submitted by the government, as opposed to the debtor's plan, concluding that the plan is both feasible and confirmable. It offers the creditors full payment and is more likely to close than the debtor's plan. Under the terms of the plan, according to a DOJ press release, the United States received approximately $776 million, which will be distributed in accordance with the underlying settlements to address over 35 different sites; the Coeur d’Alene Work Trust was paid $436 million; three custodial trusts—which address the owned but not operating properties of the mining company and involve a total of 13 states and 24 sites—were paid a cumulative total of approximately $261 million; and payments totaling in excess of $321 million were paid to 14 different states to fund environmental settlement obligations at over 36 individual sites. The reorganized company remains liable for environmental liabilities at the properties it continues to own and operate.