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Judge orders mercury cleanup plan for Penobscot River

BANGOR, Maine (AP) -- The former owners of the HoltraChem Manufacturing Co. plant were ordered by a federal judge to pay for an engineering study for cleaning up tons of mercury dumped in the Penobscot River.

The order signed Wednesday by Judge John Woodcock sets the stage for a costly cleanup of the toxic heavy metal released by the now-defunct Orrington plant in the 1960s and '70s.

Maine's supreme court ruled last year that Mallinckrodt US LLC had to carry out an estimated $130 million cleanup. The lawsuit by the Maine People's Alliance and the Natural Resources Defense Council sought to force Mallinckrodt to...