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Published: Thursday, 10/21/2010

Toledo may get $2.6M to clean GM site

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

A former General Motors Co. landfill site in Toledo is among dozens of sites in 14 states that will receive cleanup money from a $773 million environmental trust established by the Obama Administration.

The trust, proposed in May but presented in court Wednesday, is being funded by more than $1 billion provided by the Treasury Department to wind down the “bad” assets of GM set aside in the company's 2009 bankruptcy.

The environmental trust needs federal court approval before the funding is provided.

About two-thirds of the auto sites on the list contain hazardous waste and will require extensive cleanup.

A landfill at GM's Toledo Powertrain property at 1455 West Alexis Rd. is to receive $2.6 million for operation and maintenance of a landfill cap and site evaluation, according to the Ohio attorney general's office. It wasn't immediately clear where the landfill is on the property.

Such sites in Ohio, including in Elyria, Mansfield,

Moraine, and Parma, are to receive $39 million of the federal money. In May when the program was announced, Ohio was expected to receive $52 million to clean up eight sites.

The federal funding will go to 89 sites in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and New York.

About half the sites are in Michigan.

The trust fund was filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York and is expected to receive final approval next year.

The deal involves the government and Motors Liquidation Co., which represents former GM assets that were not placed in the new auto company.

“This trust — the largest environmental trust in our history — provides support for aggressive environmental cleanups at these sites, which will create jobs today and benefit the environment and human health over the long term,” EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said.

Al Koch, chief executive officer of Motors Liquidation, said the “money will be spent where it will truly do the most good for all parties concerned.”

The plan includes $431 million for states to clean up former GM properties and $262 million for administrative costs.

Michigan will receive the largest share, $158.7 million, followed by New York ($153.8 million), Ohio ($39.4 million), and Indiana ($25.2 million).

The other states participating in the settlement include Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

General Motors received $50 billion in government aid to get through its bankruptcy. GM is 61 percent owned by U.S. taxpayers and is planning an initial public offering that will let the government begin reducing its stake.

Vacant properties, facilities, and offices left barren by GM's bankruptcy will be razed or rehabilitated under the plan.



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