U.S. government to pay $10.84 million for cleanup at Ford Rouge complex

The United States government has agreed to pay Ford $10.84 million to settle a lawsuit with the automaker over wartime contamination at the historic Rouge complex outside of Detroit, MI. This settlement caps off a seven-year battle between Ford and the U.S. government.

According to settlement papers filed Friday, the U.S. agreed to pay for cleanup costs of $6.585 million at the Rouge complex and $4.25 million at a 48-acre wastewater treatment site adjacent to Ford's complex.

Ford's famed Rogue complex encompasses much of a 2,000-acre parcel that the automaker's founder, Henry Ford, bought way back in 1915. Due to decades of wartime manufacturing, the Rouge site is contaminated by millions of gallons of coal tar and wastewater held in nearby lagoons and pools. It's estimated that, on any given day, some 70,000 gallons of wastewater leak into the local water table.

Though Ford calls the $10.84-million settlement "fair," the automaker estimates total cleanup costs will ring in at least $99 million, meaning that Ford still has to foot nearly 90 percent of the total bill.

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