The U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, has upheld a 2008 summary judgment by U.S. District Court in favor of Olin, thus leaving the responsibility of clean-up in the hands of Glatfelter Company, according to Leagle.com.
Olin was an early owner of the Ecusta Mill in Transylvania County. Glatfelter Company purchased the mill in 1987. The appeals court decision, made last week, reaffirms that Glatfelter should bear “the costs related to remediation of mercury contamination released from the Ecusta Mill’s Electro-Chemical Building.”
The history of Ecusta’s ownership is detailed in the judgment: “Olin Corporation (‘Olin’) purchased the Ecusta Paper Mill in Pisgah Forest, North Carolina in 1949. … In 1985, senior officers of Olin’s Ecusta Division … together with several investors, purchased the Ecusta Mill from Olin, forming Ecusta Corporation. … In 1987… P.H. Glatfelter Company (‘Glatfelter’) acquired the Ecusta Corporation through a stock purchase transaction, in which Glatfelter assumed certain of Ecusta Corporation’s liabilities.”
In 1973, the U.S. EPA took action against Olin, requiring it to address or reduce its discharge of mercury.
When Glatfelter purchased the mill in 1985, the agreement declared that it must indemnify Olin “for certain environmental liabilities under prescribed circumstances.”
In 2006, the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources notified all parties that it planned to require a clean-up at the mill, and noted five areas of concern.
Glatfelter agreed to indemnify Olin on four of those five areas. The fifth remained the bone of contention, which resulted in Olin suing Glatfelter, and winning in a 2008 summary judgment.
Last week’s appellate court ruling reaffirms the 2008 decision.
For the full leagle.com report, visit http://www.leagle.com/unsecure/page.htm?shortname=infco20100305072