A federal judge Monday approved Anadarko’s $5.15 billion settlement to clean up pollution tied to a subsidiary’s operations, the largest environmental enforcement payment in U.S. history.

The agreement, initially reached in April, will resolve a lawsuit between Texas-based Anadarko, its subsidiary Kerr-McGee, and creditors of the now bankrupt Tronox.

Tronox, a titanium producer, was once a subsidiary of Kerr-McGee but was spun off before Kerr-McGee was acquired by Anadarko in 2006 for $18 billion.

Before the acquisition Kerr-McGee spun off its operations in charge of cleaning up polluted sites to Tronox.

A lawsuit filed by Tronox’s creditors that was later joined by the U.S. Department of Justice  alleged the company’s bankruptcy was caused by the environmental liabilities it took on after the spin off.

The settlement will be used to clean up 2,000 sites across the United States, Reuters said.

Objectors to the settlement can still appeal, although all parties involved in the lawsuit support the settlement.

If there is no appeal the funds could be given out within a few weeks.

About $4.5 billion will be used to clean up toxic waste at sites once operated by Oklahoma-based Kerr-McGee,

The Navajo Nation will receive about $1 billion to clean up radioactive waste that came from a uranium mining project operated by the company.


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