Michigan Getting Millions For GM Cleanup

By: Associated Press & News 10
By: Associated Press & News 10

The Obama administration says a $773 million trust has been established to clean up dozens of former General Motors sites in 14 states left shuttered by the auto giant's bankruptcy.
The trust fund was proposed in May and will come from more than $1 billion provided by the Treasury Department to wind down the "bad" assets of GM set aside in the company's 2009 bankruptcy.
About two-thirds of the auto sites contain hazardous waste and will require an extensive cleanup.
About half of the sites covered by the trust fund are in Michigan. Others are located in Ohio, Indiana and New York.

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today applauded the environmental settlement agreement reached by the Obama administration and the Motors Liquidation Company (Old GM) formerly known as General Motors, that will result in the cleanup and redevelopment of 56 auto properties in Michigan, accelerating the state's Project Phoenix, an effort to redevelop former manufacturing facilities. The new agreement will result in a trust which will provide 14 states and one tribe with more than $641 million to return contaminated properties back to productive use.

"Today marks another important step in Michigan's economic recovery," said Granholm. "Cleaning up these former GM sites will allow new companies a greater opportunity to invest in Michigan and create jobs. I commend the Obama administration and Michigan's economic development team for their work to bring this process to a close, and urge that the court proceedings move as quickly as possible."

The settlement, announced today by the U.S. Department of Justice addresses Old GM's environmental liabilities under several federal and state environmental laws at the 89 properties still owned by Old GM in Michigan and 13 other states. Under the settlement, an environmental response bankruptcy trust will be established to take ownership and possession of the properties and provide the funding to clean the properties up, administer them, and return them to beneficial use.

Michigan's Project Phoenix program, introduced by the governor in her State of the State address last February, brings the state, current and former property owners, businesses, communities, developers and other parties together to inventory - and promote for reuse- former manufacturing sites. The program includes buildings of 500,000 square feet or more, and land sites of 80 acres or more where former manufacturing facilities already have been demolished. The new trust announced today will provide funding for cleanup of 18 properties involved in Project Phoenix.

Michigan, which has the largest number of properties in the trust, will receive funding to address cleanup in:
Bay City - $3.5 million for one site
Burton - $2.4 million for two sites
Detroit - $183,000 for three sites
Flint - $42.4 million for 9 sites, including just under $33 million for cleanup at Buick City
Grand Blanc - $528,000 for one site
Grand Rapids - $3.75 million for one site
Lansing - $18.6 million for four sites
Livonia - $8.5 million for three sites
Pontiac - $13.9 million for 17 sites
Romulus - $276,000 for one site
Saginaw - $17.8 million for five sites
Van Buren - $3.2 million for two sites
Ypsilanti - $43.5 million for four sites, including $35.7 million for cleanup at Willow Run

Granholm noted that redevelopment of currently unused manufacturing sites could be ideal for clean energy companies looking to take advantage of Michigan's significant tax incentives and skilled workforce. "Existing manufacturing infrastructure, a well-trained workforce and unbeatable incentives have already led to billions of dollars of investment in Michigan by advanced battery, wind, and solar manufacturers," said Granholm. "The additional sites that will become available to new investors as a result of the environmental cleanup will continue to help Michigan diversify its economy and create new jobs for the 21st century."


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