A class-action settlement reached over water contamination claims stemming from Monsanto Co.’s use of toxic chemicals known as PCBs decades ago is expected to send $550 million to several jurisdictions, including the city of Long Beach and the county of Los Angeles, it was announced Wednesday.
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement that the city joined the lawsuit to “take on a corporate giant which has contaminated our waterways and environment” in cases that were collectively litigated for more than five years.
Long Beach City Attorney Charles Parkin called the settlement “a groundbreaking effort to protect and restore the city’s water resources.”
The settlement still requires approval from District Court Judge Fernando M. Olguin before class members can receive funds, which are expected to go toward the protection of local waterways, and the mitigation and monitoring of PCBs.
Monsanto manufactured PCBs — toxic industrial compounds — from the 1930s until 1977. The chemicals were banned in the United States in 1979.
Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in 2018, announced Wednesday it would pay up to $10.9 billion to resolve current and potential future litigation related to Monsanto weedkiller Roundup over cancer claims.
The announcement included agreements to resolve cases related to PCB water contamination, which Bayer said establishes a class “that includes all local governments with EPA permits involving water discharges impaired by PCBs.”
Other jurisdictions set to receive funds as part of the resolution include the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, Berkeley, Oakland, San Jose, Spokane, Tacoma, Portland and Baltimore, as well as the county of Baltimore and the Port of Portland.
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