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The state of South Carolina, one of bankrupt Safety-Kleen Corp.’s largest unsecured creditors, was denied its motion Tuesday to shift the waste hauler’s Chapter 11 reorganization case from Wilmington, Del., to Columbia, S.C. Safety-Kleen’s headquarters are in Columbia, and South Carolina filed the motion on the grounds that continuing the case in Wilmington would burden creditors, shareholders and other parties because of excessive travel and legal costs. But Judge Peter Walsh of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington rejected South Carolina’s motion. The state’s motion to shift venue was filed by the state-owned Santee Cooper utility and the state Department of Health and Environmental Control and Natural Resources Department. The DHEC seeks to have Safety-Kleen immediately pay $70 million to a cleanup fund that would be used to remediate the company’s hazardous and industrial waste landfill near Lake Marion, S.C., which is owned by Santee Cooper. Meanwhile, a hearing on a $100 million debtor-in-possession financing for Safety-Kleen was postponed until July 19. Safety-Kleen filed for reorganization protection June 9, after lower-than-expected earnings for the last three quarters as well as a 55 percent plunge in its stock price when accounting irregularities were disclosed in March. Laidlaw Corp. of Burlington, Ontario, owns a 44 percent stake in Safety-Kleen. Copyright �2000 TDD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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