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Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : March 1, 2006


Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 558-3381

Contact: Curtis Taylor, Wildlife Resources Section Chief (304) 558-2771


Ohio River Natural Resource Damage Assessment Settlement Announced


  A settlement has been reached with several Ohio companies for injury to Ohio River natural resources allegedly resulting from wastewater discharges at the Eramet Marietta Inc. facility, according to Frank Jezioro, Director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. The Marietta, Ohio company and Elkem Metals Company LP, Ferro Invest III Inc. and Ferro Invest II LLC have agreed to pay $2.04 million towards restoration of native freshwater mussels, snails, and fish in the Ohio River. Injury to wildlife in the Ohio River occurred in 1999 and 2000.


  “The combined efforts of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, the West Virginia Attorney General, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the companies involved will make a substantial contribution to the restoration of the wildlife that was adversely impacted in the Ohio River,” said Jezioro.

  "Today's settlement was made possible because of the cooperative efforts of federal and state governments and private industry," said Assistant Attorney General Sue Ellen Wooldridge for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. "We are confident that this agreement will help to substantially improve the environment and restore valuable natural resources for the people of the Ohio River Valley."


  “The next step,” said Jezioro, “is for the state and federal resource agencies to develop a course of action for restoration.” The restoration planning process will include opportunities for the public to provide input and review, Jezioro added.


  This settlement will be the subject of a 30-day public comment period beginning with publication of the Federal Register notice for the settlement.


  During the public comment period, the consent decree may also be examined on the Department of Justice website, at:


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