When groundwater contamination was first discovered at one of IBM’s sites in 1977, the company initiated groundwater monitoring at all of its manufacturing and development locations worldwide. Today, IBM has 2,755 monitoring and 110 extraction wells at various sites around the world.
In 2010, 14,706 pounds of solvents from past contamination were extracted while remediating, controlling and containing groundwater at seven currently operating sites and 10 former sites in three countries. At four of these sites, an additional 794 pounds of solvents were removed by soil vapor extraction or other methods. IBM also has financial responsibility for remediation at three other former sites.
As a result of the U.S. Superfund law, IBM is involved in cleanup operations at some non-IBM sites in the U.S. The Superfund law creates a retroactive responsibility for certain past actions even though they may have been technically and legally acceptable at the time.
As of year-end 2010, IBM had received notification (through federal, state or private party) of its potential liability at 110 sites, since the beginning of the U.S. Superfund program back in 1980. Of these, 57 are on the U.S. National Priority List. At the majority of the 110 sites, it has been determined that IBM either never had liability or has resolved liability. As a result, IBM believes it may presently have potential liability at only 14 sites.
When investigation and/or remediation at an IBM location or an off-site facility is probable, and its costs can be reasonably estimated, IBM establishes accruals for loss contingency. Estimated costs connected with closure activities (such as removing and restoring chemical storage facilities) are accrued when the decision to close down a facility is made. As of December 31, 2010, the total accrual amount was $262 million.
Featured IBM Initiatives
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The Smarter Cities Challenge is a competitive grant program awarding $50 million worth of services and expertise over the next three years to help 100 cities around the globe address a wide range of challenges.Launch Feature
Celebration of Service
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