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Apex waste plant insured by AIG units


APEX, N.C.--The operator of a hazardous materials facility that burned late Thursday, forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents near Raleigh, N.C., has a pollution liability policy with a $28 million aggregate limit issued by American International Specialty Lines Insurance Co., among other coverages, documents show.

American International Specialty Lines is a unit of New York-based American International Group Inc. The pollution policy also provides limits of $24 million for each claim, with coverage provided from August 2005 to August 2008, according to an EQ Holding Co. certificate of insurance.

Wayne, Mich.-based EQ-The Environmental Quality Co. is a privately owned company that operates the Apex, N.C., toxic waste handling facility that erupted into flames late Thursday. The facility manages, packs and transports a variety of chemical waste products, and the fire raised concerns that released fumes could be toxic.

Local officials asked about 17,000 people to evacuate the area around the plant, but only about 4,000 had done so Friday afternoon, a spokesman for Wake County said.

EQ's certificate of insurance shows that its coverage was placed by Willis of Michigan Inc., a unit of Willis Group Holdings Ltd.

EQ also has a commercial general liability policy from Commerce & Industry Insurance Co. with a $1 million limit for each occurrence and a $2 million general aggregate. Commerce & Industry Insurance Co. is also an AIG unit. It also purchased excess liability on an occurrence policy form from American International Specialty Lines. That policy provides $10 million per occurrence with a $10 million aggregate.

Lexington Insurance Co., another AIG unit, also provides EQ with an excess umbrella policy with $15 million in aggregate limits and for each occurrence, the certificate of insurance shows.

AIG declined to comment.