• AG Coakley welcomes New Bedford Harbor settlement


    BOSTON (AP) - A federal court has accepted a $366 million settlement to clean probable human carcinogens from New Bedford Harbor.

    Attorney General Martha Coakley said Wednesday that she's pleased the United States District Court has accepted the settlement.

    Coakley called the ruling "an important step for the economic development of the harbor" which will provide "significant public health benefits for the community."

    Not everyone has been pleased with the settlement talks.

    Critics say the Environmental Protection Agency has underestimated the cost to remove the polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in the harbor.

    Earlier this year, New Bedford state Sen. Mark Montigny said the proposed settlement with AVX Corp. fell short.

    The harbor has been off limits to fishing since 1979.

    Coakley said the deal will achieve cleanup goals within 5-7 years, rather than 40 years under current funding levels.

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