Eighteen companies and several federal agencies are part of a proposed $5.5 million settlement related to the past discharges of hazardous substances into the lower Ashtabula River and Harbor in northeast Ohio, the state's attorney general announced.
"This agreement will compensate the public for precious natural resources that were damaged by hazardous pollutants released into the Ashtabula watershed over more than half a century," said Ignacia Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice, in a statement. "The settlement also fosters the restoration of wildlife habitat and recreational resources along the Ashtabula that the people of Ohio will be able to enjoy for many years to come."
Complaints filed by the federal government and Ohio officials alleged that at various times since the 1940s, numerous industrial facilities released hazardous pollutants into the river.
The agreement calls for the acquisition of several ecologically-valuable properties along the river, implementation of habitat restoration projects and reimbursement of natural resource damage assessment costs.
For more information on the restoration efforts, a website dedicated to the effort has been launched.