$20M settlement for St. Lawrence River pollution

ALBANY (AP) – Alcoa Inc. says its nearly $20 million settlement with state and federal officials and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe is a positive step and it will undertake several ecological and cultural restoration projects along the St. Lawrence River in northern New York.

The settlement includes $7.3 million for grasslands, wetlands and fisheries; $1 million for buying 460 acres for state protection; $8.4 million for tribal outdoor education, horticulture, healing, nutrition and language programs; and almost $2 million for boat launches on the Grasse and Raquette rivers.

Authorities say the Massena factories of Alcoa Inc. and Reynolds Metals Co., now part of Alcoa, released substances like aluminum fluoride for decades, damaging the environment and the Akwesasne reservation.

An Alcoa spokeswoman says the releases were in the past and aren’t ongoing.