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Birmingham Receives $192,000 Settlement for Damaged Trees

The chemical company DuPont is paying Birmingham almost $200,000 after an herbicide damaged 27 trees at the city's golf courses.

Birmingham will be receiving almost $200,000 from the chemical company DuPont as part of a settlement offer after the company's herbicide damaged two dozen trees at and .

"We are among many citizens throughout the country filing a claim against DuPont," said City Attorney Tim Currier at the Monday night meeting of the Birmingham City Commission, where commissioners unanimously voted to accept the settlement.

In total, DuPont will pay Birmingham $69,059 to remove 12 damaged trees at Springdale and $122,986 to remove 15 trees at Lincoln Hills, for a total of $192,046.

What's killing the trees? According to Currier and Director Lauren Wood, it was the herbicide Imprellis, a product that has damaged various species of trees in Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Wisconsin. The most common reported symptoms are needle browning and curling of new growth.

According to Currier, Birmingham golf course employees first discovered the damage in fall 2011, particularly among the courses' evergreen and fir trees.

Using the $192,000 the city receives from DuPont, the city will pay for the removal of the damaged trees, the replacement trees and their maintenance until Dec. 31, 2013.

According to Currier, Birmingham officials have the discretion to choose when to remove the trees as well as decide whether to replace the trees after the damaged ones are removed.

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