National Grid agreed to pay $5.38 million to state and federal agencies to resolve claims over environmental damage caused by the defunct Gloucester Gas Light Company, officials said Friday.
Hazardous chemicals released by the plant, which operated from 1854 to 1952, contaminated soil, groundwater and sediment in Gloucester Harbor, officials said.
“This settlement is an important step toward addressing years of pollution in Gloucester Harbor that injured the community’s natural resources,” Carrie Selberg Robinson, director for habitat conservation for fisheries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said in a statement.
The plant transformed coal and oil into gas, yielding tar, sludge and oil as byproducts. After the plant closed, ownership changed to the North Shore Gas Company, then later to National Grid.
Of the settlement, $5.3 million will be used for natural resource restoration projects implemented by trustees including the U.S. Department of the Interior through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, officials said.
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