LIVINGSTON COUNTY — The $20 million AkzoNobel settlement funds have yet to arrive to Livingston County and according to representatives from the mining company New York State Attorney General’s Office has had the check since January.
The check was part of an agreed upon settlement as a result of negotiations between the County and AkzoNobel after a shutdown of the desalination plant at the former salt mine. The plant was part of an existing agreement that was built to treat water that was filling in the mine from an underground aquifer after the former AkzoNobel salt mine collapsed.
“Under the settlement agreement, AkzoNobel was directed to send payment to the New York State Attorney General’s Office,” stated Sandy Moran, AkzoNobel Global Communications. “We submitted the full amount in January 2015 and fulfilled our financial obligations.”
The matter came to light when a water issue issue arose in Caledonia and residents requested permission to connect into the Town of York water line because of bad well water. The GeneseeSun.com inquired to Ian Coyle, Livingston County Administrator on whether the Lowery Road well issue was connected to the salt mine and if funds were available to the residents if it was. At this time residents do not believe their issues are connected to the salt mine
“We haven’t received the money from the settlement,” said Coyle. “And at this point we haven’t set guidelines for release of the funds when we do get them.”
The settlement money, that apparently now sits in Albany, was planned to be split into four parts, with four different functions and safeguards. $11 million is for county water supply infrastructure; $5 million is for surface water treatment, $1 million is for environmental insurance, and the remaining $3 million goes to the state for groundwater monitoring.