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Case Against Enviromental Management Department Overturned

Last updated on Friday, November 16, 2007

(INDIANAPOLIS) - An appeals court has thrown out a $16.4 million lawsuit verdict against Indiana’s Department of Environmental Management.

Crawfordsville auto-parts manufacturer Raybestos had sued IDEM after the agency reneged on a deal to clean up poisonous PCB's near the plant. IDEM had offered in 1997 to accept a cleanup to a level of 24 times higher than federal limits, until new leaders at the agency concluded it would set a bad precedent.

The Federal Environmental Protection Agency ended up issuing a cleanup order at the stricter standard. A Marion County judge had ordered idem to pay the resulting higher costs.

A unanimous appeals court says IDEM didn't have the right to allow a looser standard than the EPA in the first place.

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