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Thursday, July 2, 2009
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888

Former Owner of the Largest Chrysotile Asbestos Mine and Mill in the U.S. Agrees to Address Contamination at Vermont Site

WASHINGTON— As part of a multi-site settlement, G-I Holdings Inc. has agreed to address asbestos contamination caused by its past operation of the largest chrysotile asbestos mine and mill in the country, the United States and the state of Vermont announced today.

The 1,673-acre abandoned mine site in Vermont, known as the Vermont Asbestos Group Mine Site (VAG Site) is the most significant of the contaminated sites covered by the settlement, which includes 12 other industrial sites across the country where G-I may have disposed of hazardous waste.

According to a federal complaint filed in New Jersey, the VAG Site has two towering piles of asbestos-containing mine and mill tailings, which are eroding offsite and adversely affecting downstream surface waters and wetlands. These piles also attract hikers, rock collectors, and ATV enthusiasts. In the complaint, the United States alleged that these activities may cause exposure to airborne-asbestos by those who access the site.

Under today’s settlement, G-I will take immediate steps at the VAG Site by constructing fencing, gates and road barriers to restrict public access; providing onsite surveillance and securing the mill buildings. They will also monitor air emissions from the piles; conduct dust suppression, if necessary, and provide support to EPA and Vermont for future sampling and monitoring.

These tasks will take place over eight years, at a cost of up to $7.75 million. The need for dust suppression will depend on the air monitoring results. G-I will also reimburse the federal and state governments for past and future cleanup costs at the VAG Site and related off-site contamination. G-I, now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, will reimburse a portion EPA and Vermont’s cleanup costs up to 8.6 percent of $300 million. Finally, G-I will pay $850,000 for damages to local wetlands and waterways contaminated by the site.

Also, as part of the settlement, G-I will contribute $104,615 as its share of cleanup costs to resolve federal claims at nine other superfund sites where its predecessors disposed of hazardous waste. In addition, under the decree, the federal government will have up to 10 years to bring claims for cleanup costs and damages to natural resources at three related heavily-contaminated sites in or near Linden, N.J. Under the consent decree, the Linden claims will pass through the bankruptcy and not be discharged, but will eventually be paid at the bankruptcy rate of 8.6 percent on the dollar if G-I is found liable for the contamination.

“The cornerstone of this settlement is that G-I is responsible for completing extensive work at the Vermont Asbestos Group Mine Site, focusing on site security, air monitoring and investigating and sampling certain mine tailings,” said John C. Cruden, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “G-I will also pay for its share of cleanup costs for this Site and nine other contaminated sites around the country.”

The consent decree, lodged today in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court. A copy of the consent decree is available on the Department of Justice Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.



United States Environmental Protection Agency


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Chemicals: Scientific Review, Assessment

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) gives EPA broad authorities to protect against risks from chemicals, including authorities to collect and assess toxicity and exposure data on new and existing industrial chemicals and to develop policies and regulations on chemical-testing methods. The law also authorizes EPA to require manufacturers and processors to take risk-management actions to reduce “unreasonable” risks of chemicals of concern.

In addition, for the past decade EPA has been voluntarily receiving basic screening-level data from industry and making it available to companies and citizens to make wise chemical choices. And through its Chemical Assessment and Management Program (ChAMP), EPA is using the information to make hazard, exposure and risk determinations to prioritize chemicals of concern for further study and/ or risk management actions.

On this page you will find:

ChAMP’s Approach

The Chemical Assessment and Management Program (ChAMP) broadens EPA’s efforts to ensure the safety of existing chemicals. The program increases the number of organic chemicals for which EPA is making screening-level hazard, exposure, and risk characterizations. EPA is using these characterizations to prioritize chemicals to indicate whether additional data or control measures may be needed to address potential hazards and risks identified in the prioritization process

Scientific Review of New Chemicals Under TSCA

Under TSCA, EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics reviews submissions of information on new chemicals to determine if they warrant prohibiting or limiting their manufacture, processing, or use. Because the submissions include little or no toxicity or fate data, EPA’s new chemicals program uses several risk screening approaches, including structural activity relationships, to facilitate assessment in the absence of specific data. This enables rapid evaluation of potential risks and making risk-management decisions for the new chemicals within the 90-day timeframe prescribed by TSCA.

Scientific Review of Nanoscale Materials Under TSCA

OPPT is evaluating and, where appropriate, managing the risks associated with engineered nanoscale materials. Nanoscale materials at dimensions of roughly 1 to 100 nanometers may exhibit novel properties that enable applications that differ from the same materials at a larger scale. A nanometer is about one ten-thousandth the diameter of a human hair.

On January 28, 2008, OPPT initiated a Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP) aimed at gathering currently available information on NMs. Its goal is to help provide a firmer scientific foundation for regulatory decisions by encouraging submission and development of key scientific information, including risk-management practices for nanoscale materials.

Scientific Review of Biotech Chemicals Under TSCA

Also under TSCA, EPA is responsible for the safe commercial introduction of new or intergeneric microorganisms with industrial applications, such as bioremediation, or the production of specialty enzymes. Read about TSCA Biotechnology Program.

Testing Methods

To evaluate whether chemicals may pose unreasonable risks, TSCA gives EPA authority to issue data development regulations that require manufacturers and processors of existing chemicals to submit information on health and environmental effects of their chemicals. Read more about rules and policies that for testing chemicals.


  • Interpretive Documents
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – The Freedom of Information Act provides specifically that “any person” can make requests for government information.
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    United States National Central Bureau of Interpol – US Dept. of Justice – USNBC


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    The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) supports law enforcement investigative efforts and fosters interagency and global cooperation against domestic and international financial crimes. It also provides U.S. policy makers with strategic analyses of domestic and worldwide trends and patterns.



    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) charters, regulates, and supervises national banks to ensure a safe, sound, and competitive banking system that supports the citizens, communities, and economy of the United States.

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