"Union Pacific Settles Omaha Lead Dispute With EPA for $25M"

"OMAHA, Neb. – Union Pacific and the Environmental Protection Agency are ending their decade-long dispute over lead contamination in Omaha with a settlement that reduces the railroad's share of the cost to $25 million instead of the more than $200 million originally sought.

The dispute dealt with nearly 6,000 lead-contaminated Omaha properties. The settlement agreement, reviewed Wednesday by The Associated Press before it was filed in court, includes no admission of wrongdoing by the railroad.

Since 2001, the EPA and Union Pacific have been trying to determine how much the railroad should contribute to the lead cleanup because it owned property where another company ran a lead smelter.

UP and the EPA disagreed about the contamination's source. The EPA blamed industrial sources of lead and Union Pacific argued lead house paint is the real problem."

Josh Funk reports for the Associated Press June 1, 2011.

Thursday, June 2, 2011