A Woodbury County District Court judge has ordered General Motors to pay a 75-thousand dollar civil penalty for failing to clean up a contaminated site the company used to own in Sioux City. Bob Bramer, a spokesman for Iowa’s Attorney General, says the site had a variety of contaminants. He says G.M. purchased the site in 1980 from Zenith Corporation. Zenith made transistor radios at the site and had underground storage tanks that held a variety of solvents, and "volatile organic compounds."
G.M. sold the site in 2004 and Brammer says the lawsuit alleged that G.M. failed to clean up soil and groundwater contamination at the site in a timely manner. Brammer says the company has done a lot of cleanup at the site over the years, but starting in 2004 had specific deadlines to get rid of contaminants, or keep water from migrating from the site. He says the company missed those deadlines by a year and a half in one case and another by almost a year.
Brammer says the company has to pump thousands of gallons of water from the site. Another thing they’re required to do is called a "butane-biostimulation system," where they inject butane and air into the aquifer to induce biological breakdown of the contaminants. Brammer says G.M. agreed to the order and is also prohibited from committing any further violations The $75,000 civil penalty will go to funds used for future environmental protection efforts.