New Hampshire Reaches $25 Million PCB Deal With Monsanto

New Hampshire has reached a $25 million settlement with agrochemical giant Monsanto over what the state says was spread…

New Hampshire has reached a $25 million settlement with agrochemical giant Monsanto over what the state says is widespread PCB pollution in waterways and other state-owned properties, said the attorney general’s office on Tuesday.

The state alleges contamination over nearly 50 years by Monsanto and two spin-off companies, Solutia and Pharmacia, has polluted 104 state waterways that have required numerous fishing advisories. He also alleged that PCB contamination is far more widespread than previously thought and that companies knew of the dangers but had failed to warn the public.

“New Hampshire has a long and proud tradition of protecting our precious natural resources,” Republican Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement. “As an environmental engineer, I have spent many years cleaning up PCB contamination, and I know firsthand the costs these efforts can impose on individuals and communities. We hold polluters accountable.

Sununu said the settlement guarantees the state the “necessary financial resources to address the damage that PCBs have caused to our environment.”

PCBs are toxic industrial chemicals, now banned, that have accumulated in plants, fish, birds and humans for decades. PCBs were used in many industrial and commercial applications, including paints, coolants, sealants and hydraulic fluids.

St. Louis-based Monsanto produced them from 1935 to 1977, two years before they were banned by Congress.

Bayer, which bought St. Louis-based Monsanto in 2018, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But in the settlement agreement, he said he was not admitting any allegations in the lawsuit, nor any wrongdoing or violation of the law.

Citing internal documents, the state says companies continued to sell PCB mixtures even though they knew the compounds would lead “to contamination of human food (especially fish), death of certain marine species (shrimp) and the possible extinction of several species of fish. – eat birds.

The state said PCBs have polluted about 81 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean and 46 other bodies of water, including stretches of the Souhegan River and Squam Lake, where PCBs have been linked to a reduction in the loon population and found in the state seal population. .

Tests at Squam Lake, the third largest in the state, found 160 PCB substances in fish at concentrations above 20 parts per billion. The state has also found PCBs in lake loon eggs at over 10,000 parts per billion.

As a result, stricter advisories against eating fish have been issued for some waterways.

Similar lawsuits have been filed in other states related to PCB contamination. Two years ago, Monsanto agreed to pay $95 million for PCB contamination in Washington state. Additionally, the company announced a $650 million settlement with several California cities. Lawsuits have also been filed in Maryland and Delaware.

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