REPORT: GM gets out from under its polluted sites scot-free

Next in the line of those clamoring for attention and payouts from Motors Liquidation Co., the company that was given all of GM's unwanted assets, are the environmental and economic redevelopment departments of state governments. General Motors was able to exit bankruptcy without responsibility for a number of factory and land sites that are polluted, and state leaders fear that there won't be any money to clean them up.

Before bankruptcy, GM estimated it had $1.9 billion in liability regarding environmental issues and litigation. Motors Liquidation Co., though, has only about $1.2 billion to manage the entire wind-down of its affairs – and as one might expect, attorneys handling the matter are expected to get a huge chunk of that. The figure to clean up sites in places like Buick City (pictured, before the buildings were demolished), Michigan and Massena, New York has been pegged at $530 million. However, the way it's looking, there won't be anywhere near that much money to get the job done.

The locally affected areas are afraid they will have to pay for the clean ups or simply let the land go unused. There are two big problems with that: many local governments don't have the money for these kind of projects right now, and they can't expect a developer to spend millions to clean up an old mess. If not Motors Liquidation or GM, civic representatives want the government to foot the bill since the current administration orchestrated the deal. No one knows how it will – or won't – be resolved, but the EPA has said that it is in touch with states and Motors Liquidation to "identify any environmental cleanup requirements that existed at the time of bankruptcy."

[Source: Freep | Photo Credit: Plan59]

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