These wetlands in the Paradise Creek watershed have received contaminated surface runoff from the Peck Iron and Metal Superfund site in Portsmouth, Norfolk County, Virginia.
On February 28, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice opened a 30-day public comment period on a proposed settlement between the U.S. and the debtors of Canal Corporation in bankruptcy court for environmental liabilities, including natural resource damage claims, at the Peck Iron and Metal Superfund site in Portsmouth, Norfolk County, Virginia. The proposed settlement is embodied in a Settlement Agreement that was lodged with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, on February 16.
Elevated levels of PCBs and lead have been found at the 33-acre Peck Iron and Metal Superfund site and in nearby wetlands and sediments of Paradise Creek. The release of these hazardous substances from the site into Paradise Creek likely caused injuries to natural resources and natural resource services. Paradise Creek, which borders the site on the southwest, flows into the southern branch of the Elizabeth River. The southern branch of the Elizabeth River has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the most contaminated tributary to the Chesapeake Bay.
This settlement resolves a proof of claim in bankruptcy court. Department of the Interior will receive an allowed general unsecured claim in the amount of $3,889 for natural resource damages. Department of the Interior, acting through U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the only natural resource trustee participating in the proposed settlement.
Written comments regarding the proposed Settlement Agreement must be received by the U.S. Department of Justice by March 29, 2012.