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Merced to pay $1.5M in subdivision contamination

Fri, 07/15/2011 - 11:50am
The Associated Press

The Central California city of Merced has agreed to pay a $1.5 million settlement after a federal jury found that thousands of residents of a subdivision were potentially exposed to a cancer-causing chemical.

In March, the jury found that hexavalent chromium had leaked from a manufacturing plant in Merced's Beachwood subdivision and spread into the air, the irrigation canal and floodwaters. The jury found residents could have been exposed to the chemical for 25 years.

The plant, owned by a former subsidiary of the drug maker Merck & Co., used industrial chemicals to pressure-treat wood for cooling tower frames. The plant shut down in 1994.

The Merced Sun-Star reports that the settlement was finalized in May and will go to more than 2,200 plaintiffs.

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Information from: Merced Sun-Star, http://www.mercedsun-star.com

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