Utility Preparing Appeal Over Ashland Superfund Cleanup

Federal Judge Ruled Last Month That Xcel Subsidiary Must Cover Costs


A subsidiary of Xcel Energy has begun to appeal a federal judge’s ruling that they have to pay to clean up a superfund site in Ashland.

Cleanup costs are likely to exceed $100 million, and the utility company says they shouldn’t foot the bill alone. Xcel Energy’s David Donovan said federal judge Barbara Crabb did say the city of Ashland was liable for contamination at its Northern States Power superfund site, and added that “(Crabb) made it her choice not to allocate any cost.”

“From our perspective, we believe that everyone that’s involved in this site should pay their fair share,” said Donovan.

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“Everyone” in this case means the city and Ashland County.

Ashland Mayor Deb Lewis says she’s not bent out of shape over the appeal. “In order to prevail on appeal, NSP would have to show that the judge abused her discretion,” she said.

Donovan said they have around 60 days to move forward with the appeal. He said the ruling would be reviewed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

The utility company has already settled with two railroads and an electrical contractor over cleanup costs for the Northern States Power site.