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MADISON — On Thursday, October 20, 2011, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and Wisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp will join City of Kenosha and federal officials to announce an agreement to transfer ownership and ensure cleanup of the former Chrysler engine plant site.
Wisconsin's agreement with the liquidating trustee will permit the swift transformation of this 106 acre brownfield property from an abandoned auto plant to usable real estate. With the settlement in place, the Trust that owns the plant and its contents will sell off everything on the premises. When that process is complete, the real estate will pass to the City of Kenosha or the State of Wisconsin, depending on what the city of Kenosha decides.
Through the bankruptcy reorganization plan, $10,000,000 in federal Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds will be made available to resolve environmental problems at the site. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Wisconsin and Kenosha will administer those funds and oversee the required remediation work.
Without the agreement, the environmental litigation concerning the plant would have persisted for years.
“This agreement is a good example of government agencies working cooperatively to reach an agreement with private enterprise to protect Wisconsin resources,” Attorney General Van Hollen said. “The Department of Justice and its state and federal partners acted swiftly to prevent further harm and begin the necessary steps toward revitalization efforts.”
"We see this as a new beginning for the city of Kenosha and this property. The agreement signed by the partners, the property owners and the lenders proves that government does work, and with the steps we're taking here today, we're showing that government can have a positive effect on people's lives," DNR Secretary Stepp said.
The agreement is the product of cooperation from the City of Kenosha, the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the U.S. Treasury.
The news conference is scheduled for Thursday, October 20, 2011, at 1:30 p.m. at the Kenosha Civil War Museum's Freedom Hall, located at 5400 1st Avenue in Kenosha.
Attorney General Van Hollen's remarks begin at 1:45 p.m. DNR Secretary Stepp will make her address at roughly 2:15 p.m.