WASHINGTON — The Army and Shell Oil Co. are to pay up to $1 billion to mop up chemical weapons waste and other dangerous substances at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal near Denver in what will be the most costly hazardous waste cleanup in history, the Justice Department said today.
The agreement comes in a proposed consent decree calling for the cleanup by the year 2000 of a 27-square-mile Army-owned tract just north of Denver. The decree becomes final after a 45-day public comment period.
The decree filed in U.S. District Court in Denver would settle a lawsuit the government filed four years ago against Shell.
Shell produced and handled pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals on the property, which was leased from the Army. In 1985, Shell admitted it had produced some contamination at the arsenal.