Portland City Suing Monsanto Over PCB Contamination
Portland, Oregon is taking legal action against Monsanto over polluting the city’s rivers with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a highly harmful group of chemicals that endangers human health and wellness and also the atmosphere.
Portland Common council unanimously passed a resolution authorizing city attorney Tracy Reeve to sue the biotech giant.
” Portland’s elected officials are devoted to holding Monsanto responsible for its evident choice to prefer revenues over human and eco-friendly wellness,” Reeve said in a declaration. “Monsanto made money from marketing PCBs for decades and has to take obligation for tidying up after the mess it developed.”
Map revealing general location of issue for pollution at the Portland Harbor Superfund site.
Map showing basic area of problem for air pollution at the Portland Harbor Superfund website.
Portland is currently the seventh West Shore city to file a claim against Monsanto over PCB contamination, joining Seattle, Spokane, Berkeley, San Diego, San Jose and also Oakland.
According to a declaration from the complainant’s law practice Gomez Trial Attorneys, has actually invested as well as will continue to invest significant public funds to cleanse as well as explore up PCB contamination in the Willamette River and also Columbia Slough. The chemical is additionally one of the major targets of the large Portland Harbor Superfund cleaning task.
Travis Williams, executive supervisor of Willamette Riverkeeper, discussed to KGW: “In our case there are PCBs commonly dispersed throughout Portland Harbor which’s one of the primary reasons it was noted as a superfund website back in December of 2000.”
The city has spent even more than $1 billion cleansing up the Willamette, mayor Charlie Hales informed OPB.
” The people of Portland dug deep in order to spend for cleaning up our mess, and other companies should be held to that standard,” Hales added.
As EcoWatch mentioned just recently, PCBs were when utilized to insulate electronic devices 10 years earlier. Before changing operations to agriculture, Monsanto was the sole supplier of the compound, raking a reported $22 million in business a year.
The regulation company stated that Monsanto produced greater than 1 billion extra pounds of PCBs in between the 1930s and also the 1970s, including that Monsanto’s very own records reveal that it remained to sell PCBs long after it allegedly recognized of the dangers they offered to human health and wellness and the natural surroundings.
As the Tribune reported:
Papers reveal Monsanto referred to as much back as 1969 that PCBs led to contamination of fish, birds and also oysters, said John Fiske, a senior trial lawyer with Gomez Trial Lawyer, in a presentation before the Common council . The firm understood its item might create “global contamination,” Fiske claimed, yet remained to pitch its item, “picking revenues over environmental wellness.”
The United States Epa (EPA) prohibited PCBs in 1979, due to its web link to abnormality as well as cancer in lab pets. PCBs can additionally have damaging skin and liver results in people. PCBs linger in the atmosphere for lots of years.
The EPA estimates that 150 million pounds of the chemicals are distributed throughout the atmosphere, consisting of air as well as water supplies; an added 290 million pounds lie in garbage dumps in this nation.
Monsanto quit manufacturing of PCBs in 1977 over human health and wellness and environmental problems. The St. Louis-based company launched a claim adhering to ‘s action:
We are evaluating the lawsuit and its claims. Monsanto is not responsible for the expenses declared in this issue. Monsanto today, and for the last years, has been focused solely on farming, yet we share a name with a company that goes back to 1901.
That business made and marketed PCBs that at the time were a helpful and also legal product that were then integrated by 3rd events into other helpful items. If the third-party disposal or metropolitan disposal practices of the past have led four 10 years later to the state’s growth of legal limits on future PCB discharges right into numerous bays as well as rivers via storm water, after that those third parties and also local landfill operators bear obligation for these extra prices.
The seven cities suing Monsanto each filed separate legal actions against Monsanto in federal court, but will certainly be represented by the same 2 law practice, California-based Gomez Test Lawyers and Texas-based Baron & Budd. According to the Tribune, the companies thinking to submit a movement March 31 in a federal court in Santa Barbara, The golden state, to ask that court handle all seven situations.
An existing Residence bill might provide Monsanto long-term immunity from responsibility for injuries caused by PCBs. The New York Times reported last month that Republicans in Congress have actually placed a condition right into the Harmful Compounds Control Act (TSCA) reauthorization costs that would successfully spare Monsanto from liability for injuries created by PCBs.
Ecological lawyer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., that has competed over PCBs for three 10 years, wrote this week that the “supposed “Monsanto Motorcyclist” would shield the chemical titan from hundreds of lawsuits by cities, towns, college areas and individuals, who have actually been wounded by direct exposure to PCBs.
“If Monsanto obtains its way, the American people will certainly pay a high price for company greed as well as political corruption,” Kennedy claimed.