Bayer, the German pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, will pay Oregon $698 million to end a lawsuit over PCB pollution associated with products made by Monsanto, the agriculture giant it now owns.
It’s the largest environmental damage recovery in Oregon’s history and “magnitudes larger” than any other state settlement over PCB contamination by Monsanto, Rosenblum said.
The settlement stems from a lawsuit filed by Oregon against Monsanto in 2018 for 90 years of pollution in the state until PCBs were banned in the late 1970s.
PCBs are toxic compounds formerly used in coolants, electrical equipment such as fluorescent lights, and other devices. They still contaminate Oregon’s landfills and riverbeds and show up in fish and wildlife.
“Monsanto’s toxic legacy unfortunately lives on in our lands, rivers and other waterways, and poses ongoing risks to the health of our people and our environment,” Rosenblum said. “This is all the more reason why this settlement is so vitally important. Oregon and Oregonians will be the better for it.”
Bayer, the German pharmaceutical and biotechnology company, said in a statement that the settlement over “legacy Monsanto PCB products” fully resolves all Oregon’s claims and releases the company from any future liability.
The Oregon agreement contains no admission of liability or wrongdoing by the company, the statement said.
“The settlement terms reflect the unique challenges and trial procedures in this Oregon venue even though Monsanto voluntarily ceased production of PCBs in 1977 and never manufactured, used or disposed of PCBs in Oregon,” it said.
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