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INTERNATIONAL TECHNOLOGY SUSPENDS REMEDIATION WORK ON HOUSTON-AREA SUPERFUND SITE, FILES $56 MILLION BREACH OF CONTRACT LAWSUIT

 INTERNATIONAL TECHNOLOGY SUSPENDS REMEDIATION WORK ON HOUSTON-AREA
 SUPERFUND SITE, FILES $56 MILLION BREACH OF CONTRACT LAWSUIT
 HOUSTON, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- International Technology Corporation (NYSE: ITX) (IT) today suspended cleanup of a top-priority Superfund site in Texas because of a contract dispute with a trust fund led by Monsanto Chemical Company. IT does not anticipate a charge against earnings as a result of the suspension.
 The announcement followed the filing of a $56 million breach of contract lawsuit in Houston against the MOTCO Trust, the PRP (potentially responsible party) group that agreed to finance remediation of the 11-acre site south of Houston. The leader of the trust, Monsanto, agreed to fund the majority of the MOTCO remediation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also agreed to contribute $9 million to the site's cleanup, although EPA is not a member of the trust.
 In its complaint, IT -- which has worked on more than 500 Superfund sites and is one of the nation's largest environmental management companies -- alleges that Monsanto has refused to pay for more than $56 million of remediation services. IT further alleges that Monsanto intends to alter cleanup technology applications at the site, thus contravening a consent decree from EPA which specified treatment by incineration. EPA considers incineration the preferred technology for permanent destruction of hazardous waste.
 "We deeply regret that we've had to take this action," said Murray Hutchinson, IT's chairman and chief executive officer. "We value Monsanto as an important client and recognize the company as a leader on the environmental front. But after more than six months of unsuccessful negotiations, we have no other choice but to seek legal recourse."
 According to EPA, the MOTCO Hazardous Waste Disposal site is the top priority for clean up in the state of Texas and is ranked 27th in priority on the National Priority List of about 1,200 U.S. Superfund sites. Located in La Marque, Texas, the abandoned hazardous waste disposal site comprises seven pits of organic tars and sludges, and contaminated liquids and soils.
 Hutchinson said IT will work with the responsible authorities to ensure a safe and orderly transition at the site.
 IT Corporation was retained by the MOTCO Trust to destroy waste safely on-site using two transportable incinerators designed and operated by IT. Based on information provided to IT in MOTCO Trust's request for proposal, the company bid and was awarded a contract for about $30 million.
 Soon after beginning incineration, however, IT discovered that the original contract amount was insufficient to complete the job. Costs escalated because the scope of work expanded, and IT found there were deficiencies in the request for proposal.
 "We advised Monsanto that it would cost substantially more to complete the project because the scope of work had changed and because the chemical makeup, quantities and mixture of waste at the site were dramatically different from that portrayed by data provided to us by the MOTCO Trust and used to prepare our bid," Hutchison said.
 The project suffered another setback when the MOTCO Trust pumped more than 1.4 million gallons of contaminated water and waste into the MOTCO pits from the trust's unrelated Management of Migration project on property adjacent to the pits.
 Hutchison explained that IT continued to work at the site in good faith -- based on extensive negotiations with Monsanto, IT expected to be reimbursed for costs incurred by IT over and above the $20 million paid by MOTCO to date. He added that Monsanto and IT reached a tentative agreement in September that would have enabled IT to recover its investment and complete the project at a cost of $95 million.
 "But Monsanto eventually came back to us saying they were unwilling to establish what they termed a 'precedent of legitimizing uneconomical solutions,'" Hutchison said. "Monsanto then terminated negotiations, refused to pay us and informed us that it is now their intent to obtain approval from the EPA to employ other less expensive remediation technology in addition to selected incineration."
 He continued, "It's unfortunate that Monsanto and the MOTCO Trust didn't have a better idea of the problem they were dealing with before we went to work. But we don't believe a waste remediation contractor should be expected to fund the cleanup costs for someone else's waste simply because the PRP group failed to adequately identify the magnitude of the task."
 International Technology Corporation, based in Torrance, Calif., is a leading environmental management company providing services to government and industry.
 -0- 12/4/91
 /CONTACT: Murray Hutchison or Brad Figley of International Technology, 713-961-4017; or Anthony J. DeLuca or Pat Boldt of Hill & Knowlton, 212-697-5600, for IT/
 (ITX) CO: International Technology Corporation ST: Texas IN: SU:


TS-OS -- NY010 -- 9106 12/04/91 10:30 EST
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Date:Dec 4, 1991
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