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Idaho judge dismisses Asarco lawsuit

Keywords: Tags  Asarco, Grupo Mexico, Union Pacific Railroad, Greg Evans, Integer Law Corp., pollution, lead pollution, Suzy Waite

NEW YORK — A federal judge in Idaho has dismissed copper producer Asarco LLC’s lawsuit against Union Pacific Railroad Co. seeking payments for the cleanup of polluted sites in northern Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene Basin, according to Asarco’s lawyer.

Asarco’s prior bankruptcy settlement agreement “clearly and unequivocally” released Union Pacific from further obligations regarding the Coeur d’Alene Basin, according to the March 28 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Edward J. Lodge in Idaho.

Tucson, Ariz.-based Asarco claimed that Union Pacific had contributed to hazardous lead pollution in areas where Asarco had already paid almost $2 billion in cleanup costs, including along its rail lines in the Coeur d’Alene Basin (, March 27).

Asarco, a division of Grupo Mexico SAB de CV, will appeal the court’s decision, which it called “incorrect," Greg Evans, founder of Los Angeles-based Integer Law Corp., told AMM.

Evans said Asarco will continue to ask environmental regulators to examine whether Union Pacific contributed to pollution in other states, including Washington, Nebraska and Kansas.

“Asarco is committed to the appeal,” Evans said.

Union Pacific did not respond to requests for comment.

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