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 NEW YORK, Dec. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Witco Corporation agreed to pay $10.5 million in a settlement of a suit brought by the Public Interest Research Group of New Jersey, Inc., Friends of the Earth, and the State of New Jersey for alleged violations of water discharge permits at its Perth Amboy, N.J., manufacturing plant. Witco further agreed to institute procedures and install equipment to eliminate any such violations in the future. Witco said that adequate reserves had been taken for this settlement and the associated remediation and that they will not affect the financial position of the company.
 The settlement ends litigation that began in 1989 and includes payments of $7.25 million to the State of New Jersey, $750,000 to the City of Perth Amboy for certain environmental projects including the Perth Amboy Police and Fire Departments and the Raritan Bay Medical Center for environmental training, and $2 million to the Environmental Endowment for New Jersey, Inc. for certain environmental projects in the Perth Amboy vicinity. Witco has also agreed as part of the settlement to install certain wastewater treatment facilities that are currently under construction and expected to be completed in the fall of 1993.
 As part of a global environmental settlement at the Perth Amboy plant, Witco and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Energy (NJDEPE) further agreed to a final resolution of a suit filed in 1983 and settled in 1985 with the formation of a Site Action Committee composed of members from the State and Witco. This committee was formed to assess the environmental conditions at the plant and develop remedial solutions.
 The committee's activities related to contamination at the plant which principally involved PCBs contained in heat transfer fluids. These heat transfer fluids were previously used in certain plant heating systems over 25 years ago and were purchased at that time from another manufacturer. Witco has never used PCBs in any of its products. In the 1960s, PCBs were widely used and their environmental risks were generally unknown. Apparently, during use of these materials, minute quantities leaked from the heating systems and contaminated soils at the plant. This contamination went unnoticed until its discovery in the early 1980s. In 1989, the company remediated the area of the plant containing the source of the PCBs after completion of various studies by the committee to determine the most appropriate remediation to protect public health and safety. The remaining areas of the plant having PCB contamination will now be addressed according to final remedial procedures selected by the committee pursuant to the 1985 Witco/NJDEPE agreement.
 Witco previously completed certain other remedial projects in the City of Perth Amboy, including the State Street sewers in 1985 and 1986, to remove contamination and improve the operation of the sewers. Witco has also agreed to implement a plan for the further remediation and improvement of such sewers and certain waterways in the city.
 Alan M. Abrams, Witco's general counsel, said that "Witco is satisfied to bring an end to the litigation and now concentrate on the remediation steps agreed upon." The case had been pending before Judge H. Lee Sarokin in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (Newark).
 -0- 12/31/92
 NOTE TO EDITOR: Witco Corporation is a worldwide manufacturer of specialty chemical and petroleum products as well engineered materials with annual sales in excess of $1.6 billion.
 /CONTACT: C.R. Soderlind, group vice president, 212-605-3813, or S.L. Levy, manager - public relations, 212-605-3815, both of Witco Corporation/

CO: Witco Corporation ST: New York, New Jersey IN: CHM SU:

AH-OS -- NY016 -- 0905 12/31/92 12:37 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 31, 1992

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