Abitibibowater wins environmental cleanup case

Canada's high court rules in favor of newsprint maker in environmental cleanup costs case

Associated Press

OTTAWA (AP) -- The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in favor of newsprint maker Abitibibowater Inc., in a case on liability for environmental cleanup costs in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The company, which now operates as Resolute Forest Products Inc., closed its last mill in the province in 2009 and filed for bankruptcy protection.

The government expropriated the company's assets at that time, becoming the owner of the mill. A legal battle ensued over who would pay the estimated $100 million clean-up of five contaminated sites.

The company argued the responsibility for the cleanup belonged to the province as the new owner.

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 against the province Friday.

AbitibiBowater, a merger of U.S. company Bowater and Canada's Abitibi-Consolidated, emerged from creditor protection in 2010 and returned to profitability under its new operating name.

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