U.S. to pay $55M for cleanup at Moses Lake

YAKIMA -- The U.S. government and other parties have agreed to pay more than $58 million to clean up industrial contamination at the site of a former Air Force base north of Moses Lake.

The bulk of the money -- $55 million -- is coming from the federal government. Boeing, Lockheed Martin and the city of Moses Lake will contribute an additional $3.3 million as part of a settlement filed in U.S. District Court in Yakima on Thursday.

The Superfund site includes the Grant County Airport and the former Larson Air Force Base. The soil and 1,000 acres of groundwater there were contaminated by industrial solvents and other substances.

The Justice Department says the settlement will ensure that the groundwater is cleaned, and that it shows that the government expects those responsible for pollution to pay for cleaning up -- even when the government itself is the responsible party.