MASSENA – A new $19.4 million settlement with Reynolds Metals and Alcoa will be added to the fund for cleanup of the St. Lawrence River at the industrial sites near Massena.
The U.S. government, the State of New York, and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe have announced the settlement with the aluminum smelting companies for injuries to natural resources, recreational fishing, and Mohawk culture resulting from the release of hazardous substances on shore and into the St. Lawrence River since at least the late 1950s.
Most of this settlement, $18.5 million, will be combined with $1.8 million in restoration funds from a 2011 General Motors (GM) bankruptcy settlement, to be used for restoration of the area. In all, a total of $20.3 million is slated to go to restoration efforts.
The natural resource trustees—the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)—solicited restoration project ideas and developed a restoration plan to address the damage to the natural and cultural resources and lost human uses of natural resources, such as recreational fishing.
Two information meetings will be held in Akwesasne and Massena in April.
There is more info at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service web page at http://www.fws.gov/northeast/nyfo/ec/stlaw.htm.