October 20, 2010
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources have reached an agreement with the former General Motors Corporation (GM), now Motors Liquidation Company, to pay for the clean up of hazardous wastes at the former Leeds Assembly Plant in Kansas City. The agreement is a part of GM’s Chapter 11 reorganization and includes thirteen other states, a native American tribe, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Koster said GM closed the Leeds plant in 1988 after nearly 60 years, manufacturing more than 8.2 million vehicles at the site during that time and leaving contaminants related primarily to the disposal of paint wastes, including lead, arsenic, benzene, and beryllium. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and Missouri subsequently filed its claim for cleanup and remediation costs.
Koster said under the proposed agreement, 90 contaminated properties from across the United States that were owned by GM at the time of the bankruptcy filing will be placed in a custodial trust funded by the U.S. Treasury through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). He said $1,724,806 has been allocated to pay for necessary cleanup activities at Leeds, including site investigation, soil and drum removal, maintenance of the asphalt cap, groundwater monitoring, and implementation of an institutional control.
“Once fully cleaned up, the former Leeds site will be a valuable asset for the state that can be used for further economic development in Kansas City,” Koster said. “This is a win-win situation for both the environment and for the citizens of Missouri.”