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10-Q
KOPPERS HOLDINGS INC. filed this Form 10-Q on 11/09/2017
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predecessors without regard to the date of the alleged conduct and (iv) product liability claims for products sold by Beazer East or its predecessors without regard to the date of the alleged conduct. If the third-party claims described in sections (i) and (ii) above are not made by July 2019, Beazer East will not be required to pay the costs arising from such claims under the Indemnity. However, with respect to any such claims which are made by July 2019, Beazer East will continue to be responsible for such claims under the Indemnity beyond July 2019. The Indemnity provides for the resolution of issues between Koppers Inc. and Beazer East by an arbitrator on an expedited basis upon the request of either party. The arbitrator could be asked, among other things, to make a determination regarding the allocation of environmental responsibilities between Koppers Inc. and Beazer East. Arbitration decisions under the Indemnity are final and binding on the parties.

Contamination has been identified at most manufacturing and other sites of the Company’s subsidiaries. One site currently owned and operated by Koppers Inc. in the United States is listed on the National Priorities List promulgated under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (“CERCLA”). Currently, at the properties acquired from Beazer East (which includes the National Priorities List site and all but one of the sites permitted under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”)), a significant portion of all investigative, cleanup and closure activities are being conducted and paid for by Beazer East pursuant to the terms of the Indemnity. In addition, other of Koppers Inc.’s sites are or have been operated under RCRA and various other environmental permits, and remedial and closure activities are being conducted at some of these sites.

To date, the parties that retained, assumed and/or agreed to indemnify the Company against the liabilities referred to above, including Beazer East, have performed their obligations in all material respects. The Company believes that, for the last three years ended December 31, 2016, amounts paid by Beazer East as a result of its environmental remediation obligations under the Indemnity have averaged, in total, approximately $10 million per year. Periodically, issues have arisen between Koppers Inc. and Beazer East and/or other indemnitors that have been resolved without arbitration. Koppers Inc. and Beazer East engage in discussions from time to time that involve, among other things, the allocation of environmental costs related to certain operating and closed facilities.

If for any reason (including disputed coverage or financial incapability) one or more of such parties fail to perform their obligations and the Company or its subsidiaries are held liable for or otherwise required to pay all or part of such liabilities without reimbursement, the imposition of such liabilities on the Company or its subsidiaries could have a material adverse effect on its business, financial condition, cash flows and results of operations. Furthermore, the Company could be required to record a contingent liability on its balance sheet with respect to such matters, which could result in a negative impact to the Company’s business, financial condition, cash flows and results of operations.

Domestic Environmental Matters. Koppers Inc. has been named as one of the potentially responsible parties (“PRPs”) at the Portland Harbor CERCLA site located on the Willamette River in Oregon. Koppers Inc. operated a coal tar pitch terminal near the site. Koppers Inc. has responded to an Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) information request and has executed a PRP agreement which outlines the process to develop an allocation of past and future costs among more than 80 parties to the site. Koppers Inc. believes it is a de minimis contributor at the site. Additionally, two separate natural resources damages assessments (“NRDA”) are being conducted by local trustee groups. The NRDA is intended to identify further information necessary to estimate liabilities for settlements of national resource damages (“NRD”) claims. Koppers Inc. may also incur liabilities under the NRD process and has entered into a separate process to develop an allocation of NRDA costs.

The EPA issued its Record of Decision (“ROD”) in January 2017 for the Portland Harbor CERCLA site. The selected remedy includes a combination of sediment removal, capping, enhanced and monitored natural recovery and riverbank improvements. The ROD does not determine who is responsible for remediation costs. The net present value and undiscounted costs of the selected remedy as estimated in the ROD are approximately $1.1 billion and $1.7 billion, respectively. Responsibility for implementing and funding that work will be decided in the separate allocation process.   

In September 2009, Koppers Inc. received a general notice letter notifying it that it may be a PRP at the Newark Bay CERCLA site. In January 2010, Koppers Inc. submitted a response to the general notice letter asserting that Koppers Inc. is a de minimis party at this site.

The Company has accrued the estimated costs of participating in the PRP group at the Portland Harbor and Newark Bay CERCLA sites and estimated de minimis settlement amounts at the sites totaling $2.2 million at September 30, 2017. The actual cost could be materially higher as there has not been a determination of how those costs will be allocated among the PRPs at the sites. Accordingly, an unfavorable resolution of these matters may have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, financial condition, cash flows and results of operations.

There are two plant sites in the United States related to the Performance Chemicals business where the Company has recorded an environmental remediation liability for soil and groundwater contamination which occurred prior to the Company’s acquisition of the business.  As of September 30, 2017, the Company’s estimated environmental remediation liability for these acquired sites totals $4.9 million.  

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