W.R. Grace & Co. has agreed to pay some $3 billion in cash and equity to settle lawsuits filed on behalf of people injured or killed by asbestos in the company’s products. Grace operated a vermiculite mine near Libby, Mont., from 1963 to 1990, infamously coating the town with asbestos fibers. The company went bankrupt in 2001 after more than 100,000 asbestos-related claims were filed against it. The legal battle over responsibility and cleanup for what the U.S. EPA once called “the nation’s worst environmental disaster” has been long and arduous and still goes on: seven current and former Grace executives have been indicted on charges of knowingly endangering their workers and the public.

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