Judge approves Anadarko’s record $5.15 billion environmental settlement

Approval paves the way for the oil company to settle pollution claims around its Tronox acquisition six years ago.

A judge has cleared the way for Anadarko Petroleum topay $5.15 billion to settle an environmental suit, the largest penalty ever in such a case, over fraud claims related to its acquisition of chemical company Tronox eight years ago.

The amount tops the previous record of $4.5 billion paid by BP BP -1.10% to settle criminal charges over the 2012 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Most of Anadarko’s settlement money – $4.5 billion – will go to help clean up toxic waste sites around the country. The remainder of the cash will go to people who said they were sickened by the pollution.

The judge’s approval Tuesday lifted the final obstacle to the settlement and ended a drawn-out process that’s been years in the making. Kerr-McGee, an oil company, spun off Tronox in 2005 into a separate company shortly before selling it. Prosecutors alleged that Kerr-McGee engineered the maneuver in order to avoid liabilities related to its poor environmental track record.

Tronox declared bankruptcy in 2009 after being hit by large fines.

Anadarko is expected to pay the settlement money in 60 days after the final round of approval, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In her decision Tuesday, Judge Katherine B. Forrest of U.S. District Court in Manhattan agreed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Allan Gropper that the settlement was sufficient. The judge’s assessment overruled claims that the settlement was too low and that the claimants deserved a larger portion of the money.

“The court is sympathetic to the objectors, whose community is coping with the toxic legacy Kerr-McGee has left in its wake,” the judge said. “Nevertheless, the court must consider the broad interests of all of the parties affected by this litigation, not simply the narrow interests of the objectors.”

 

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About steve@bayintegratedmarketing.com

Steve Ulrich is a principal at Bay Integrated Marketing: www.bayintegratedmarketing.com. I have been working with people to maximize their use of social media and internet publishing, optimize their websites to turn prospects into customers, and establish their personal brand on the internet. We are also working with Eco Distribution, Inc. to find and implement practical solutions to help clean up our air and the environment. Eco Distribution, Inc. is a California based Distributor and Representative Firm dealing in environmentally friendly and Green solutions. We have leveraged 30 years experience in responsible construction management to provide solutions for some of the most impactful challenges facing our air, water, and land. We have an oil/hydrocarbon remediation system that is effective on everything from simple oil stains on a driveway, to complex oil disasters in the ocean. My approach to social media and internet marketing is simple. Instead of spending a fortune “buying” keywords and ads that don’t return anything we concentrate on three areas: I CAN GET YOU FOUND ON LINKEDIN - NUMBER ONE, PAGE ONE.
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