On March 14, 1994, Housewares submitted its closure plan to the Ohio EPA, which the Ohio EPA approved on September 29, 1994. On August 19, 1996, Housewares submitted a closure certification report, noting that the cleanup activities at the site had been completed on June 21, 1996.
Housewares also leased property located in Lexington, Kentucky from the Bekem Partnership. Housewares sublet this property to Sam Blount, who operated a furniture manufacturing plant. This manufacturing plant generated waste products containing unacceptable levels of cadmium, chromium, and lead. On January 25, 1988, the Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet (KEPC) filed an administrative complaint with regard to the Lexington site and named Housewares as a defendant. Despite denying liability in the matter, Housewares, the Bekem Partnership, and KEPC entered into an agreed order on December 8, 1992. In this order, Housewares and Bekem agreed to remove an underground storage tank from the site. After the removal of the storage tank, samples were taken from the pit. These samples indicated the presence of volatile compounds, and the Kentucky Division of Waste Management required further investigation to determine the extent of the contamination. Thereafter, Housewares filed a motion to set aside the agreement, claiming unfairness in the process since the agreed order had been entered. This motion was denied on January 26, 1996.
The Bekem Partnership continued to spend considerable funds in remediating the Lexington site, and attempted to have Housewares pay for one-half of the expenses. Although it maintains it is not liable for any of these costs, Housewares was negotiating with the Bekem Partnership to settle the matter at the time of this appeal.