September 29, 1987: New York Times headline–W.R. Grace is Charged with Lying About Waste. A Federal grand jury today indicted W. R. Grace & Company on charges that it lied to the United States Enviromental Protection Agency about the use of chemicals and waste disposal techniques at its industrial plant in Woburn, Mass.
Officials at Grace, a diversified company with headquarters in New York, denied issuing any false statements and termed the grand jury’s charges ”unjust and without merit.”
The indictment today follows a lawsuit last summer in which eight families from Woburn asserted that toxic discharges from the Grace plant had contaminated their water wells, causing six deaths from leukemia and numerous illnesses in the families. In July, a jury found that Grace had contaminated the water with two solvents but was unable to determine the date at which the chemicals began to pollute the wells. $8 Million Settlement Reported The case was settled out of court in September. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed, but Grace is reported to have paid the families $8 million, although it denied that its chemicals had caused the diseases.”
The Woburn groundwater contamination case was the basis for the book and film A Civil Action.