The Bob Hope Airport authority has agreed to pay $2 million to Lockheed Martin Corp. in exchange for a guarantee from the aerospace company to cover the cost of a $108-million cleanup of contaminated groundwater under part of the airport.
Airport officials said the deal was an economical solution to a problem that could have cost much more.
Lockheed spokesman Gary Cambre said the settlement, announced late last week, "is fair and equitable," with the Burbank airport paying its share of costs and Lockheed Martin agreeing to work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and with other potentially responsible parties.
In July 2010, the EPA named the airport, Lockheed and others as potentially responsible parties for toxic groundwater resulting from aircraft manufacturing during and after World War II. The EPA estimated the cost of the cleanup at $108 million.
Airport officials denied any responsibility and sued Lockheed to force it to accept liability. They said Lockheed had agreed in 1978 — when it sold the property that is now the airport — to pay eventual cleanup costs.