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US reaches $5.15 billion environmental settlement

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government has reached a $5.15 billion settlement with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. for the cleanup of thousands of long-contaminated sites nationwide, the largest ever for environmental contamination.

The company said Thursday that the settlement resolves a legal battle over Tronox Inc., a 2005 spinoff of Kerr-McGee Corp., a company Anadarko acquired in 2006.

The Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency also announced the settlement.

Kerr-McGee has a long legacy of environmental contamination at uranium mines and wood-treatment plants.

The U.S. initially sought $25 billion to clean up decades of contamination at dozens of sites. A U.S. bankruptcy judge in New York in December found Kerr-McGee had improperly shifted its environmental liabilities to Tronox and should pay between $5.15 billion and $14.2 billion, plus attorney’s fees.

Associated Press

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