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Newhall Settles Suit Over Oil

May 29, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

Two companies accused of leaving oil contamination on the Newhall Ranch property in northern Los Angeles County have agreed to clean it up as part of a tentative settlement, a spokeswoman for developer Newhall Land & Farming Co. said Wednesday.

The developer sued the companies in 2001, claiming they were responsible for "severe and extensive" contamination on about 1,300 acres of the roughly 12,000-acre proposed Newhall Ranch subdivision, a 20,885-home project that L.A. County supervisors approved Tuesday.

The tentative settlement assures "completion of the restoration of the property" by the defendants, Kerr-McGee Corp. and Medallion California Properties Co., according to a statement from the developer.

Newhall Land officials have long maintained that the contamination could be cleaned to a level that makes it safe for development. But they have insisted that the companies should pay for the cleanup, which in court documents they estimated would cost tens of millions of dollars.

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