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Bank of America to Reimburse EPA for Emergency Response Costs at Rehrig-United International Site in Chesterfield Co.

Release Date: 03/14/2013
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, smith.bonnie@epa.gov, 215-814-5543

PHILADELPHIA (March 13, 2013) – Bank of America has agreed to reimburse the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency $80,398 for its portion of the emergency response costs incurred by EPA at the Rehrig-United International Superfund Site in Chesterfield County, Va.

Rehrig was a manufacturer of shopping carts and baskets. When Rehrig filed a petition for bankruptcy reorganization in September 2008, Bank of America provided financing to manage and operate this business during the reorganization. After converting to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in December 2008, Rehrig unexpectedly shut down its operations. From that point until March 31, 2009, Bank of America maintained control of the facility and its assets.

In January 2009, a utilities worker noticed a large amount of water gushing from a water pipe at the Rehrig facility. Chesterfield County Fire and Emergency Services responded to the release and requested EPA’s support. EPA identified elevated levels of nickel and chromium in surface water and soils, and noted leakage in the plating vat area. Due to the release or threat of release of elevated levels of hazardous substances -- specifically nickel and chromium used during Rehrig’s plating operations – EPA initiated an emergency removal action.

In addition to Bank of America’s portion of the emergency response costs, J&P Keegan LLP, the current owner, performed cleanup work at the site beginning in July 2009 and was given a notice of completion from EPA in the summer of 2010. Keegan reimbursed EPA $43,877 for its share of the costs incurred by the agency during the cleanup.

The emergency response costs recovered will be placed back into the Superfund, to be available for cleanups at other sites.