PORTLAND – Precision Castparts Corp. agreed to pay $ 22.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging metal casting in Southeast Portland, Oregon, of contaminating nearby homes with toxic metals.
The deal includes millions of dollars of Precision Castparts already spent on improving emission controls on its Large Parts campus, as well as $ 12.5 million in payments to neighbors and their attorneys, according to The Oregonian / OregonLive.
Matthew Preish, a lawyer representing neighbors, said it is the largest environmental group settlement in Oregon history. He estimates that in February 2016, payments averaged about $ 3,500 per household for people living in the area, within the timeframe specified in the lawsuit.
“This case has played a significant role both in correcting emissions problems and, I hope, in deterring other polluters from thinking they can do it and get out of hand,” Preish said.
Lawyers expect the inspections to begin in the summer.
“The settlement allows PCC Structurals (the business unit named in the lawsuit) to resolve costly long-term litigation,” a written statement from Precision Castparts said. “As always, we will remain in compliance with our regulatory air permits and will continue to invest in strong emission control technology as part of our commitment to the environment and our community.”
People eligible for the settlement live in areas where scientists have found that pollution in 2016 is roughly concentrated in the Brantwood-Darlington area of Portland.
An original lawsuit filed by residents Brian and Alina Resendez in 2016 cited a report in The Oregonian / OregonLive about elevated nickel levels in moss near Precision Castparts. The lawsuit alleges that toxins found by U.S. Forest Service researchers and state environmental regulators in nearby moss nearby indicated that residents were exposed to potentially harmful contaminants.
Precision Castparts manufactures large metal components for aircraft, electric generators and other industrial products.
Pollution management requires Precision Castparts to spend $ 7.7 million on emissions control and another $ 2 million on pollution control. The company has spent $ 7.7 million and this work is credited to the settlement.
Lawyers will seek one-third of a $ 12.5 million settlement fund, up to $ 4.2 million.
Residents and ex-residents can check their eligibility to participate online and view case details at structuralssettlement.com. People who want to get paid must apply by April 9th.