Leader Blues

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

EDITORIALS>>Firm must pay

The U.S. Supreme Court this week wrote the final chapter in the long-running suit over who should pay for the cleanup of the old Vertac chemical plant in Jacksonville.

While many of the former operators fought the federal government when they were presented with huge bills for the cleanup, the one with the deepest pockets, Hercules, Inc., finally ran out of appeals when the Supreme Court Monday refused to hear the case, in effect ordering the company to pay the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency nearly $120 million for the cleanup.
Fortunately for Jacksonville, the EPA had enough reserve funds to pay for the cleanup while the agency hunted down the responsible parties and collected from many of them. The cleanup cost at $150 million, and now Hercules is finally stuck with almost the enitre bill. Jacksonville’s long nightmare is over.