Hercules Inc., of Wilmington, today said the government has given - and taken away.

The specialty chemical maker said it received $182 million from the Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday as part of an expected total of $230 million in refunds on taxes paid between 1993 and 2003.

But Hercules also said it paid $124.5 million today to the federal government for environmental cleanup costs at a Vietnam War-era Agent Orange plant in Arkansas.

After years of litigation, a federal appeals court ruled last year that Hercules was responsible for much of the cleanup costs at the Superfund site.

Neither the tax refund nor the court-ordered payment will have an impact on earnings, the company said.

Hercules shares were down 5 cents, to $18.51 in trading this morning on the New York Stock Exchange.