Maine's high court to hear environmental dispute

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Maine's highest court is scheduled to hear arguments in a legal dispute over the environmental cleanup of the former HoltraChem Manufacturing Co. plant in Orrington.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the Supreme Judicial Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday on an appeal by Mallinckrodt LLC, a St. Louis-based pharmaceutical company that inherited responsibility for the site after HoltraChem went bankrupt. Mallinckrodt is seeking to overturn an order that it must complete an environmental cleanup that could cost $250 million.

The chemical plant used mercury in its manufacturing processes and dumped waste directly into the Penobscot River. The plant later deposited waste in five landfills on its 235-acre campus.

Mallinckrodt contends in its appeal that the Maine Board of Environmental Protection overstepped its legal authority in ordering the cleanup.

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