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SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF
THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the quarterly period ended MARCH 31, 2012
Commission File Number: 1-3433
THE DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
2030 DOW CENTER, MIDLAND, MICHIGAN 48674
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. þ Yes ¨ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).
þ Yes ¨ No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
¨ Yes þ No
The Dow Chemical Company
QUARTERLY REPORT ON FORM 10-Q
For the quarterly period ended March 31, 2012
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART I - FINANCIAL INFORMATION
Item 1. Financial Statements.
The Dow Chemical Company and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Income
See Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
The Dow Chemical Company and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income
See Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
The Dow Chemical Company and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Balance Sheets
See Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
The Dow Chemical Company and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
See Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
The Dow Chemical Company and Subsidiaries
Consolidated Statements of Equity
See Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Table of Contents
NOTE A – CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
The unaudited interim consolidated financial statements of The Dow Chemical Company and its subsidiaries (“Dow” or the “Company”) were prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) and reflect all adjustments (including normal recurring accruals) which, in the opinion of management, are considered necessary for the fair presentation of the results for the periods presented. These statements should be read in conjunction with the audited consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011.
NOTE B – RECENT ACCOUNTING GUIDANCE
On January 1, 2012, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") 2011-05, "Comprehensive Income (Topic 220): Presentation of Comprehensive Income," as amended by ASU 2011-12, "Comprehensive Income (Topic 220): Deferral of the Effective Date for Amendments to the Presentation of Reclassifications of Items Out of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income in Accounting Standards Update No. 2011-05." This standard improves the comparability, consistency and transparency of financial reporting and increases the prominence of items reported in other comprehensive income. See the Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income and Note P.
On January 1, 2012, the Company adopted ASU 2011-04, "Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820): Amendments to Achieve Common Fair Value Measurement and Disclosure Requirements in U.S. GAAP and IFRS," which provides common requirements for measuring fair value and disclosing information about fair value measurements in accordance with U.S. GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). See Note H for additional information about fair value measurements.
Accounting Guidance Issued But Not Adopted as of March 31, 2012
In December 2011, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued ASU 2011-11, "Balance Sheet (Topic 210): Disclosures about Offsetting Assets and Liabilities," which requires entities to disclose both gross and net information about both instruments and transactions eligible for offset in the statement of financial position and instruments and transactions subject to an agreement similar to a master netting agreement. The objective of the disclosure is to facilitate comparison between those entities that prepare their financial statements on the basis of U.S. GAAP and those entities that prepare their financial statements on the basis of IFRS. This ASU is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning on or after January 1, 2013. Retrospective presentation for all comparative periods presented is required. The Company is currently evaluating the impact of adopting this guidance.
NOTE C – RESTRUCTURING
On March 27, 2012, the Company's Board of Directors approved a restructuring plan to optimize its portfolio, respond to changing and volatile economic conditions, particularly in Western Europe, and to advance the Company's Efficiency for Growth program, which was initiated by the Company in the second quarter of 2011. The restructuring plan includes the elimination of approximately 900 positions. In addition, the Company will shut down a number of manufacturing facilities. These actions are expected to be completed primarily over the next two years.
As a result of the restructuring activities, the Company recorded pretax restructuring charges of $357 million in the first quarter of 2012 consisting of costs associated with exit or disposal activities of $150 million, severance costs of $113 million and asset write-downs and write-offs of $94 million. The impact of these charges is shown as "Restructuring charges" in the consolidated statements of income and reflected in the Company's segment results as shown in the following table.
Details regarding the components of the 2012 restructuring charges are discussed below:
Costs Associated with Exit or Disposal Activities
The restructuring charges for costs associated with exit or disposal activities totaled $150 million in the first quarter of 2012 and included contract cancellation fees of $149 million, impacting Performance Materials ($146 million) and Coatings and Infrastructure Solutions ($3 million), and asbestos abatement costs of $1 million impacting Coatings and Infrastructure Solutions.
The restructuring charges included severance of $113 million for the separation of approximately 900 employees under the terms of the Company's ongoing benefit arrangements, primarily by June 30, 2012. These costs were charged against Corporate. At March 31, 2012, no severance had been paid.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets and Other Assets
The restructuring charges related to the write-down and write-off of assets in the first quarter of 2012 totaled $94 million. Details regarding the write-downs and write-offs are as follows:
facility in Terneuzen, The Netherlands will be idled and impaired. Write-downs associated with these facilities of
$37 million were recorded in the first quarter of 2012 against the Coatings and Infrastructure Solutions segment. These facilities are expected to be shut down by year-end 2012.
The following table summarizes the activities related to the Company's restructuring reserve:
Dow expects to incur future costs related to its restructuring activities, as the Company continually looks for ways to enhance the efficiency and cost effectiveness of its operations, and to ensure competitiveness across its businesses and across geographic areas. Future costs are expected to include demolition costs related to closed facilities; these will be recognized as incurred. The Company also expects to incur additional employee-related costs, including voluntary termination benefits, related to its other optimization activities. These costs cannot be reasonably estimated at this time.
NOTE D – ACQUISITIONS AND DIVESTITURES
Rohm and Haas Acquisition and Integration Related Expenses
During the first quarter of 2011, pretax charges totaling $31 million were recorded for integration costs related to the April 1, 2009 acquisition of Rohm and Haas Company ("Rohm and Haas"), which was completed in the first quarter of 2011. These charges were recorded in "Acquisition-related integration expenses" in the consolidated statements of income and reflected in Corporate.
Divestiture of the Styron Business Unit
On June 17, 2010, the Company sold the Styron business unit ("Styron") to an affiliate of Bain Capital Partners. The proceeds received on the sale included a $75 million long-term note receivable. In addition, the Company elected to acquire a 7.5 percent equity interest in the resulting privately held, global materials company.
On February 3, 2011, Styron repaid the $75 million long-term note receivable, plus interest. In the first quarter of 2011, the Company received dividend income of $25 million, recorded in "Sundry income (expense) - net" in the consolidated statements of income and reflected in Corporate. The Company continued to hold a 6.5 percent equity interest at March 31, 2012.
NOTE E – INVENTORIES
The following table provides a breakdown of inventories:
The reserves reducing inventories from the first-in, first-out (“FIFO”) basis to the last-in, first-out (“LIFO”) basis amounted to $1,148 million at March 31, 2012 and $1,105 million at December 31, 2011.
NOTE F – GOODWILL AND OTHER INTANGIBLE ASSETS
The following table shows the carrying amount of goodwill by operating segment:
The following table provides information regarding the Company’s other intangible assets:
The following table provides information regarding amortization expense related to intangible assets:
Total estimated amortization expense for 2012 and the five succeeding fiscal years is as follows:
NOTE G – FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS
The Company’s investments in marketable securities are primarily classified as available-for-sale.
The following table summarizes the contractual maturities of the Company’s investments in debt securities:
At March 31, 2012, the Company had $1,700 million held-to-maturity securities (primarily Treasury Bills) classified as cash equivalents, as these securities had original maturities of three months or less ($1,836 million at December 31, 2011). The Company’s investments in held-to-maturity securities are held at amortized cost, which approximates fair value. At March 31, 2012, the Company had investments in money market funds of $3 million classified as cash equivalents ($1,090 million at December 31, 2011).
The net unrealized gain recognized during the first quarter of 2012 on trading securities held at March 31, 2012 was $24 million ($11 million during the three-month period ended March 31, 2011).
The following tables provide the fair value and gross unrealized losses of the Company’s investments that were deemed to be temporarily impaired at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, aggregated by investment category:
Portfolio managers regularly review the Company’s holdings to determine if any investments are other-than-temporarily impaired. The analysis includes reviewing the amount of the impairment, as well as the length of time it has been impaired. In addition, specific guidelines for each instrument type are followed to determine if an other-than-temporary impairment has occurred.
For debt securities, the credit rating of the issuer, current credit rating trends, the trends of the issuer’s overall sector, the ability of the issuer to pay expected cash flows and the length of time the security has been in a loss position are considered in determining whether unrealized losses represent an other-than-temporary impairment. The Company did not have any credit-related losses during the first quarters of 2012 or 2011.
For equity securities, the Company’s investments are primarily in Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”) 500 companies; however, the Company’s policies allow investments in companies outside of the S&P 500. The largest holdings are Exchange Traded Funds that represent the S&P 500 index or an S&P 500 sector or subset; the Company also has holdings in Exchange Traded Funds that represent emerging markets. The Company considers the evidence to support the recovery of the cost basis of a security including volatility of the stock, the length of time the security has been in a loss position, value and growth expectations, and overall market and sector fundamentals, as well as technical analysis, in determining whether unrealized losses represent an other-than-temporary impairment. In the first quarter of 2012, other-than-temporary impairment write-downs on investments still held by the Company were $4 million ($2 million in the first quarter of 2011).
The aggregate cost of the Company’s cost method investments totaled $186 million at March 31, 2012 and $179 million at December 31, 2011. Due to the nature of these investments, the fair market value is not readily determinable. These investments are reviewed quarterly for impairment indicators. At March 31, 2012, the Company's impairment analysis resulted in no reduction in the cost basis of these investments (no reduction at March 31, 2011).
The following table summarizes the fair value of financial instruments at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011:
Dow’s business operations give rise to market risk exposure due to changes in interest rates, foreign currency exchange rates, commodity prices and other market factors such as equity prices. To manage such risks effectively, the Company enters into hedging transactions, pursuant to established guidelines and policies, which enable it to mitigate the adverse effects of financial market risk. Derivatives used for this purpose are designated as cash flow, fair value or net foreign investment hedges where appropriate. Accounting guidance requires companies to recognize all derivative instruments as either assets or liabilities at fair value. A secondary objective is to add value by creating additional nonspecific exposures within established limits and policies; derivatives used for this purpose are not designated as hedges. The potential impact of creating such additional exposures is not material to the Company’s results.
The Company’s risk management program for interest rate, foreign currency and commodity risks is based on fundamental, mathematical and technical models that take into account the implicit cost of hedging. Risks created by derivative instruments and the mark-to-market valuations of positions are strictly monitored at all times, using value at risk and stress tests. Counterparty credit risk arising from these contracts is not significant because the Company minimizes counterparty concentration, deals primarily with major financial institutions of solid credit quality, and the majority of its hedging transactions mature in less than three months. In addition, the Company minimizes concentrations of credit risk through its global orientation by transacting with large, internationally diversified financial counterparties. It is the Company’s policy to not have credit-risk-related contingent features in its derivative instruments. No significant concentration of counterparty credit risk existed at March 31, 2012. The Company does not anticipate losses from credit risk, and the net cash requirements arising from counterparty risk associated with risk management activities are not expected to be material in 2012.
The Company revises its strategies as market conditions dictate and management reviews its overall financial strategies and the impacts from using derivatives in its risk management program with the Company’s Board of Directors.
Interest Rate Risk Management
The Company enters into various interest rate contracts with the objective of lowering funding costs or altering interest rate exposures related to fixed and variable rate obligations. In these contracts, the Company agrees with other parties to exchange, at specified intervals, the difference between fixed and floating interest amounts calculated on an agreed-upon notional principal amount. At March 31, 2012, the Company had open interest rate swaps with maturity dates that extend to 2019.
Foreign Currency Risk Management
The Company’s global operations require active participation in foreign exchange markets. The Company enters into foreign exchange forward contracts and options, and cross-currency swaps to hedge various currency exposures or create desired exposures. Exposures primarily relate to assets, liabilities and bonds denominated in foreign currencies, as well as economic exposure, which is derived from the risk that currency fluctuations could affect the dollar value of future cash flows related to
operating activities. The primary business objective of the activity is to optimize the U.S. dollar value of the Company’s assets, liabilities and future cash flows with respect to exchange rate fluctuations. Assets and liabilities denominated in the same foreign currency are netted, and only the net exposure is hedged. At March 31, 2012, the Company had forward contracts, options and cross-currency swaps to buy, sell or exchange foreign currencies. These contracts had various expiration dates, primarily in the second quarter of 2012.
Commodity Risk Management
The Company has exposure to the prices of commodities in its procurement of certain raw materials. The primary purpose of commodity hedging activities is to manage the price volatility associated with these forecasted inventory purchases. At March 31, 2012, the Company had futures contracts, options and swaps to buy, sell or exchange commodities. These agreements had various expiration dates through second quarter of 2014.
Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities
Cash Flow Hedges
For derivatives that are designated and qualify as cash flow hedging instruments, the effective portion of the gain or loss on the derivative is recorded in “Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)” (“AOCI”); it is reclassified to “Cost of sales” in the same period or periods that the hedged transaction affects income. The unrealized amounts in AOCI fluctuate based on changes in the fair value of open contracts at the end of each reporting period. The Company anticipates volatility in AOCI and net income from its cash flow hedges. The amount of volatility varies with the level of derivative activities and market conditions during any period. Gains and losses on the derivative representing either hedge ineffectiveness or hedge components excluded from the assessment of effectiveness are recognized in current period income.
The net loss from previously terminated interest rate cash flow hedges included in AOCI at March 31, 2012 was $1 million after tax ($1 million after tax at December 31, 2011). The Company had open interest rate derivatives designated as cash flow hedges at March 31, 2012 with a notional U.S. dollar equivalent of $263 million (no open interest rate derivatives designated as cash flow hedges at December 31, 2011).
Current open foreign currency forward contracts hedge the currency risk of forecasted feedstock purchase transactions until May 2012. The effective portion of the mark-to-market effects of the foreign currency forward contracts is recorded in AOCI; it is reclassified to income in the same period or periods that the underlying feedstock purchase affects income. The net loss from the foreign currency hedges included in AOCI at March 31, 2012 was $1 million after tax (net gain of $2 million after tax at December 31, 2011). At March 31, 2012, the Company had open forward contracts with various expiration dates to buy, sell or exchange foreign currencies with a notional U.S. dollar equivalent of $102 million ($432 million at December 31, 2011).
Commodity swaps, futures and option contracts with maturities of not more than 36 months are utilized and designated as cash flow hedges of forecasted commodity purchases. Current open contracts hedge forecasted transactions until June 2014. The effective portion of the mark-to-market effect of the cash flow hedge instrument is recorded in AOCI; it is reclassified to income in the same period or periods that the underlying commodity purchase affects income. The net loss from commodity hedges included in AOCI at March 31, 2012 was $18 million after tax ($7 million at December 31, 2011). At March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, the Company had the following aggregate notionals of outstanding commodity forward and futures contracts to hedge forecasted purchases:
Fair Value Hedges
For derivative instruments that are designated and qualify as fair value hedges, the gain or loss on the derivative as well as the offsetting loss or gain on the hedged item attributable to the hedged risk are recognized in current period income and reflected as “Interest expense and amortization of debt discount” in the consolidated statements of income. The short-cut method is used when the criteria are met. The Company had no open interest rate swaps designated as fair value hedges of underlying fixed rate debt obligations at March 31, 2012 or December 31, 2011.
Net Foreign Investment Hedges
For derivative instruments that are designated and qualify as net foreign investment hedges, the effective portion of the gain or loss on the derivative is included in “Cumulative Translation Adjustments” in AOCI. At March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, the Company had no open forward contracts or outstanding options to buy, sell or exchange foreign currencies designated as net foreign investment hedges. At March 31, 2012, the Company had outstanding foreign-currency denominated debt designated as a hedge of net foreign investment of $582 million ($585 million at December 31, 2011). The results of hedges of the Company’s net investment in foreign operations included in “Cumulative Translation Adjustments” in AOCI was a net gain of $2 million after tax at March 31, 2012 (net loss of $48 million after tax at December 31, 2011). See Note P for further detail on changes in AOCI.
Other Derivative Instruments
The Company utilizes futures, options and swap instruments that are effective as economic hedges of commodity price exposures, but do not meet the hedge accounting criteria in the accounting criteria for derivatives and hedging. At March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, the Company had the following aggregate notionals of outstanding commodity contracts:
The Company also uses foreign exchange forward contracts, options, and cross-currency swaps that are not designated as hedging instruments primarily to manage foreign currency exposure. The Company had open foreign exchange contracts with various expiration dates to buy, sell or exchange foreign currencies and a notional U.S. dollar equivalent of $15,677 million at March 31, 2012 ($14,002 million at December 31, 2011) and open interest rate swaps with a notional U.S. dollar equivalent of $231 million at March 31, 2012 (no open interest rate swaps at December 31, 2011).
The following table provides the fair value and gross balance sheet classification of derivative instruments at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011:
The following tables provide the gain and loss impact of derivative instruments in the consolidated statements of income and AOCI for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011:
The net after-tax amounts to be reclassified from AOCI to income within the next 12 months are a $1 million loss for interest rate contracts, a $13 million loss for commodity contracts and a $1 million loss for foreign currency contracts.
NOTE H – FAIR VALUE MEASUREMENTS
Fair Value Measurements on a Recurring Basis
The following tables summarize the bases used to measure certain assets and liabilities at fair value on a recurring basis:
Assets and liabilities related to forward contracts, interest rate swaps, currency swaps, options and other conditional or exchange contracts executed with the same counterparty under a master netting arrangement are netted. Collateral accounts are netted with corresponding assets and liabilities. The Company posted cash collateral of $38 million at March 31, 2012 ($11 million at December 31, 2011) classified as “Accounts and notes receivable – Other” in the consolidated balance sheets.
For assets and liabilities classified as Level 1 measurements (measured using quoted prices in active markets), total fair value is either the price of the most recent trade at the time of the market close or the official close price, as defined by the exchange in which the asset is most actively traded on the last trading day of the period, multiplied by the number of units held without consideration of transaction costs.
For assets and liabilities classified as Level 2 measurements, where the security is frequently traded in less active markets, fair value is based on the closing price at the end of the period; where the security is less frequently traded, fair value is based on the price a dealer would pay for the security or similar securities, adjusted for any terms specific to that asset or liability, or by using observable market data points of similar, more liquid securities to imply the price. Market inputs are obtained from well-established and recognized vendors of market data and subjected to tolerance/quality checks.
For derivative assets and liabilities, standard industry models are used to calculate the fair value of the various financial instruments based on significant observable market inputs, such as foreign exchange rates, commodity prices, swap rates, interest rates and implied volatilities obtained from various market sources. Market inputs are obtained from well-established and recognized vendors of market data and subjected to tolerance/quality checks.
For all other assets and liabilities for which observable inputs are used, fair value is derived through the use of fair value models, such as a discounted cash flow model or other standard pricing models. See Note G for further information on the types of instruments used by the Company for risk management.
There were no transfers between Levels 1 and 2 in the first quarter of 2012 or the year ended December 31, 2011.
For assets classified as Level 3 measurements, the fair value is based on significant unobservable inputs including assumptions where there is little, if any, market activity. The fair value of the Company’s interests held in trade receivable conduits is determined by calculating the expected amount of cash to be received using the key input of anticipated credit losses in the portfolio of receivables sold that have not yet been collected. Given the short-term nature of the underlying receivables, discount rate and prepayments are not factors in determining the fair value of the interests. See Note J for further information on assets classified as Level 3 measurements.
The following table summarizes the changes in fair value measurements using Level 3 inputs for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011:
Fair Value Measurements on a Nonrecurring Basis
The following table summarizes the bases used to measure certain assets and liabilities at fair value on a nonrecurring basis in the consolidated balance sheets:
As part of the restructuring plan that was approved on March 27, 2012, the Company will shut down a number of manufacturing facilities during the next two years. The manufacturing assets and facilities associated with this plan were written down to zero in the first quarter of 2012 and a $94 million impairment charge was included in "Restructuring charges" in the consolidated statements of income. See Note C for additional information.
NOTE I – COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENT LIABILITIES
Breast Implant Matters
On May 15, 1995, Dow Corning Corporation (“Dow Corning”), in which the Company is a 50 percent shareholder, voluntarily filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code to resolve litigation related to Dow Corning’s breast implant and other silicone medical products. On June 1, 2004, Dow Corning’s Joint Plan of Reorganization (the “Joint Plan”) became effective and Dow Corning emerged from bankruptcy. The Joint Plan contains release and injunction provisions resolving all tort claims brought against various entities, including the Company, involving Dow Corning’s breast implant and other silicone medical products.
To the extent not previously resolved in state court actions, cases involving Dow Corning’s breast implant and other silicone medical products filed against the Company were transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (the “District Court”) for resolution in the context of the Joint Plan. On October 6, 2005, all such cases then pending in the District Court against the Company were dismissed. Should cases involving Dow Corning’s breast implant and other silicone medical products be filed against the Company in the future, they will be accorded similar treatment. It is the opinion of the Company’s management that the possibility is remote that a resolution of all future cases will have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
As part of the Joint Plan, Dow and Corning Incorporated agreed to provide a credit facility to Dow Corning in an aggregate amount of $300 million; the aggregate amount was reduced to $150 million effective June 1, 2011. The Company’s share of the credit facility was originally $150 million, but was reduced to $75 million effective June 1, 2011, and is subject to the terms and conditions stated in the Joint Plan. At March 31, 2012, no draws had been taken against the credit facility.
Numerous lawsuits have been brought against the Company and other chemical companies, both inside and outside of the United States, alleging that the manufacture, distribution or use of pesticides containing dibromochloropropane (“DBCP”) has caused personal injury and property damage, including contamination of groundwater. It is the opinion of the Company’s management that the possibility is remote that the resolution of such lawsuits will have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
Accruals for environmental matters are recorded when it is probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of the liability can be reasonably estimated based on current law and existing technologies. At March 31, 2012, the Company had accrued obligations of $758 million for probable environmental remediation and restoration costs, including $68 million for the remediation of Superfund sites. This is management’s best estimate of the costs for remediation and restoration with respect to environmental matters for which the Company has accrued liabilities, although it is reasonably possible that the ultimate cost with respect to these particular matters could range up to approximately twice that amount. Consequently, it is reasonably possible that environmental remediation and restoration costs in excess of amounts accrued could have a material impact on the Company’s results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. It is the opinion of the Company’s management, however, that the possibility is remote that costs in excess of the range disclosed will have a material impact on the Company’s results of
operations, financial condition and cash flows. Inherent uncertainties exist in these estimates primarily due to unknown conditions, changing governmental regulations and legal standards regarding liability, and emerging remediation technologies for handling site remediation and restoration. At December 31, 2011, the Company had accrued obligations of $733 million for probable environmental remediation and restoration costs, including $69 million for the remediation of Superfund sites.
Midland Off-Site Environmental Matters
On June 12, 2003, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality ("MDEQ") issued a Hazardous Waste Operating License (the “License”) to the Company’s Midland, Michigan manufacturing site (the “Midland site”), which included provisions requiring the Company to conduct an investigation to determine the nature and extent of off-site contamination in the City of Midland soils, the Tittabawassee River and Saginaw River sediment and floodplain soils, and the Saginaw Bay, and, if necessary, undertake remedial action.
City of Midland
The MDEQ, as a result of ongoing discussions with the Company regarding the implementation of the requirements of the License, announced on February 16, 2012, a proposed plan to resolve the issue of dioxin contamination in residential soils in Midland. As part of the proposed plan, the Company will sample soil at residential properties near the Midland site for the presence of dioxins to determine where clean-up may be required. On March 6, 2012, the Company submitted an Interim Response Activity Plan Designed to Meet Criteria ("Work Plan") to the MDEQ, which is subject to a 45-day comment period and requires review and approval by the MDEQ.
Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers, Saginaw Bay
The Company, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and the State of Michigan ("State") entered into an administrative order on consent (“AOC”), effective January 21, 2010, that requires the Company to conduct a remedial investigation, a feasibility study and a remedial design for the Tittabawassee River, the Saginaw River and the Saginaw Bay, and pay the oversight costs of the EPA and the State under the authority of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”). These actions, to be conducted under the lead oversight of the EPA, will build upon the investigative work completed under the State Resource Conservation Recovery Act (“RCRA”) program from 2005 through 2009. The Tittabawassee River, beginning at the Midland site and extending down to the first six miles of the Saginaw River, are designated as the first Operable Unit for purposes of conducting the remedial investigation, feasibility study and remedial design work. This work will be performed in a largely upriver to downriver sequence for eight geographic segments of the Tittabawassee and upper Saginaw Rivers. In the first quarter of 2012, the EPA requested the Company address the Tittabawassee River floodplain as an additional segment. The remainder of the Saginaw River and the Saginaw Bay are designated as a second Operable Unit and the work associated with that unit may also be geographically segmented. The AOC does not obligate the Company to perform removal or remedial action; that action can only be required by a separate order. The Company and the EPA will be negotiating orders separate from the AOC that will obligate the Company to perform remedial actions under the scope of work of the AOC. The Company and the EPA have entered into two separate orders to perform limited remedial actions to implement early actions. In addition, the Company and the EPA have entered into the first order to address remedial actions in the first of the nine geographic segments in the first Operable Unit.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Process
The Company, the EPA, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the natural resource damage trustees (which include the Michigan Office of the Attorney General, the MDEQ, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Saginaw-Chippewa tribe) have been engaged in negotiations to seek to resolve potential governmental claims against the Company related to historical off-site contamination associated with the City of Midland, the Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers and the Saginaw Bay. The Company and the governmental parties started meeting in the fall of 2005 and entered into a Confidentiality Agreement in December 2005. The Company continues to conduct negotiations under the Federal Alternative Dispute Resolution Act with all of the governmental parties, except the EPA which withdrew from the alternative dispute resolution process on September 12, 2007.
On September 28, 2007, the Company and the natural resource damage trustees entered into a Funding and Participation Agreement that addressed the Company’s payment of past costs incurred by the natural resource damage trustees, payment of the costs of a trustee coordinator and a process to review additional cooperative studies that the Company might agree to fund or conduct with the natural resource damage trustees. On March 18, 2008, the Company and the natural resource damage trustees entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to provide a mechanism for the Company to fund cooperative studies related to the assessment of natural resource damages. This Memorandum of Understanding has been amended and extended until March 2013. On April 7, 2008, the natural resource damage trustees released their “Natural Resource Damage Assessment Plan for the Tittabawassee River System Assessment Area.”
At March 31, 2012, the accrual for these off-site matters was $43 million (included in the total accrued obligation of $758 million at March 31, 2012). At December 31, 2011, the Company had an accrual for these off-site matters of $40 million (included in the total accrued obligation of $733 million at December 31, 2011).
Asbestos-Related Matters of Union Carbide Corporation
Union Carbide Corporation (“Union Carbide”), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, is and has been involved in a large number of asbestos-related suits filed primarily in state courts during the past three decades. These suits principally allege personal injury resulting from exposure to asbestos-containing products and frequently seek both actual and punitive damages. The alleged claims primarily relate to products that Union Carbide sold in the past, alleged exposure to asbestos-containing products located on Union Carbide’s premises, and Union Carbide’s responsibility for asbestos suits filed against a former Union Carbide subsidiary, Amchem Products, Inc. (“Amchem”). In many cases, plaintiffs are unable to demonstrate that they have suffered any compensable loss as a result of such exposure, or that injuries incurred in fact resulted from exposure to Union Carbide’s products.
Influenced by the bankruptcy filings of numerous defendants in asbestos-related litigation and the prospects of various forms of state and national legislative reform, the rate at which plaintiffs filed asbestos-related suits against various companies, including Union Carbide and Amchem, increased in 2001, 2002 and the first half of 2003. Since then, the rate of filing has significantly abated. Union Carbide expects more asbestos-related suits to be filed against Union Carbide and Amchem in the future, and will aggressively defend or reasonably resolve, as appropriate, both pending and future claims.
Estimating the Liability
Based on a study completed by Analysis, Research & Planning Corporation (“ARPC”) in January 2003, Union Carbide increased its December 31, 2002 asbestos-related liability for pending and future claims for the 15-year period ending in 2017 to $2.2 billion, excluding future defense and processing costs. Since then, Union Carbide has compared current asbestos claim and resolution activity to the results of the most recent ARPC study at each balance sheet date to determine whether the accrual continues to be appropriate. In addition, Union Carbide has requested ARPC to review Union Carbide’s historical asbestos claim and resolution activity each November since 2004 to determine the appropriateness of updating the most recent ARPC study.
In November 2010, Union Carbide requested ARPC to review Union Carbide’s historical asbestos claim and resolution activity and determine the appropriateness of updating its most recent study completed in December 2008. In response to that request, ARPC reviewed and analyzed data through October 31, 2010. The resulting study, completed by ARPC in December 2010, stated that the undiscounted cost of resolving pending and future asbestos-related claims against Union Carbide and Amchem, excluding future defense and processing costs, through 2025 was estimated to be between $744 million and $835 million. As in its earlier studies, ARPC provided estimates for a longer period of time in its December 2010 study, but also reaffirmed its prior advice that forecasts for shorter periods of time are more accurate than those for longer periods of time.
In December 2010, based on ARPC’s December 2010 study and Union Carbide’s own review of the asbestos claim and resolution activity, Union Carbide decreased its asbestos-related liability for pending and future claims to $744 million, which covered the 15-year period ending 2025, excluding future defense and processing costs. The reduction was $54 million and was shown as “Asbestos-related credit” in the consolidated statements of income and reflected in Corporate. At December 31, 2010, the asbestos-related liability for pending and future claims was $728 million.
In November 2011, Union Carbide requested ARPC to review Union Carbide's 2011 asbestos claim and resolution activity and determine the appropriateness of updating its December 2010 study. In response to that request, ARPC reviewed and analyzed data through October 31, 2011. In January 2012, ARPC stated that an update of its study would not provide a more likely estimate of future events than the estimate reflected in its December 2010 study and, therefore, the estimate in that study remained applicable. Based on Union Carbide's own review of the asbestos claim and resolution activity and ARPC's response, Union Carbide determined that no change to the accrual was required. At December 31, 2011, the asbestos-related liablity for pending and future claims was $668 million. At December 31, 2011, approximately 18 percent of the recorded liability related to pending claims and approximately 82 percent related to future claims.
Based on Union Carbide’s review of 2012 activity, Union Carbide determined that no adjustment to the accrual was required at March 31, 2012. Union Carbide’s asbestos-related liability for pending and future claims was $646 million at March 31, 2012. Approximately 20 percent of the recorded liability related to pending claims and approximately 80 percent related to future claims.
At December 31, 2002, Union Carbide increased the receivable for insurance recoveries related to its asbestos liability to $1.35 billion, substantially exhausting its asbestos product liability coverage. The insurance receivable related to the asbestos liability was determined by Union Carbide after a thorough review of applicable insurance policies and the 1985 Wellington Agreement, to which Union Carbide and many of its liability insurers are signatory parties, as well as other insurance settlements, with due consideration given to applicable deductibles, retentions and policy limits, and taking into account the solvency and historical payment experience of various insurance carriers. The Wellington Agreement and other agreements with insurers are designed to facilitate an orderly resolution and collection of Union Carbide’s insurance policies and to resolve issues that the insurance carriers may raise.
In September 2003, Union Carbide filed a comprehensive insurance coverage case, now proceeding in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, seeking to confirm its rights to insurance for various asbestos claims and to facilitate an orderly and timely collection of insurance proceeds (the “Insurance Litigation”). The Insurance Litigation was filed against insurers that are not signatories to the Wellington Agreement and/or do not otherwise have agreements in place with Union Carbide regarding their asbestos-related insurance coverage, in order to facilitate an orderly resolution and collection of such insurance policies and to resolve issues that the insurance carriers may raise. Since the filing of the case, Union Carbide has reached settlements with several of the carriers involved in the Insurance Litigation, including settlements reached with two significant carriers in the fourth quarter of 2009. The Insurance Litigation is ongoing.
Union Carbide’s receivable for insurance recoveries related to its asbestos liability was $40 million at March 31, 2012 and $40 million at December 31, 2011. At March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, all of the receivable for insurance recoveries was related to insurers that are not signatories to the Wellington Agreement and/or do not otherwise have agreements in place regarding their asbestos-related insurance coverage.
In addition to the receivable for insurance recoveries related to its asbestos liability, Union Carbide had receivables for defense and resolution costs submitted to insurance carriers that have settlement agreements in place regarding their asbestos-related insurance coverage. The following table summarizes Union Carbide’s receivables related to its asbestos-related liability:
Union Carbide expenses defense costs as incurred. The pretax impact for defense and resolution costs, net of insurance, was $25 million in the first quarter of 2012 ($13 million in the first quarter of 2011), and was reflected in “Cost of sales” in the consolidated statements of income.
After a review of its insurance policies, with due consideration given to applicable deductibles, retentions and policy limits, after taking into account the solvency and historical payment experience of various insurance carriers; existing insurance settlements; and the advice of outside counsel with respect to the applicable insurance coverage law relating to the terms and conditions of its insurance policies, Union Carbide continues to believe that its recorded receivable for insurance recoveries from all insurance carriers is probable of collection.
The amounts recorded by Union Carbide for the asbestos-related liability and related insurance receivable described above were based upon current, known facts. However, future events, such as the number of new claims to be filed and/or received each year, the average cost of disposing of each such claim, coverage issues among insurers, and the continuing solvency of various insurance companies, as well as the numerous uncertainties surrounding asbestos litigation in the United States, could cause the actual costs and insurance recoveries for Union Carbide to be higher or lower than those projected or those recorded.
Because of the uncertainties described above, Union Carbide’s management cannot estimate the full range of the cost of resolving pending and future asbestos-related claims facing Union Carbide and Amchem. Union Carbide’s management believes that it is reasonably possible that the cost of disposing of Union Carbide’s asbestos-related claims, including future defense costs, could have a material impact on Union Carbide’s results of operations and cash flows for a particular period and on the consolidated financial position of Union Carbide.