Pennsylvania has secured $100 million through a consent agreement with the Monsanto Company, Solutia INC., and Pharmacia LLC to resolve claims related to their production of products containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which damaged waterways and other natural resources across Pennsylvania.
PCBs, which Congress banned in 1979, are a group of man-made organic chemicals consisting of carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine atoms. PCBs have no known taste or smell, and range in consistency from an oil to a waxy solid. PCBs can accumulate in the leaves and above-ground parts of plants and food crops. They are also taken up into the bodies of small organisms and fish. As a result, people who ingest fish may be exposed to PCBs that have bioaccumulated in the fish they are ingesting.
“The Department has spent years protecting Pennsylvanians from PCBs,” said DEP Secretary Rich Negrin. “By securing this settlement, DEP is holding Monsanto accountable for what it did to Pennsylvania’s water and making sure that Monsanto is paying for the work the Commonwealth has done to keep its water clean. This agreement demonstrates our commitment to protecting the rights and resources of all Pennsylvanians.”
The $100 million settlement recovers costs that the Commonwealth has incurred because of PCB contamination and will be used for further remediation efforts. Under the agreement, $8 million will be used specifically for the communities impacted by the spread of PCBs. That fund will be invested consistent with the Administration’s commitment to promoting environmental justice across the Commonwealth. The remaining funds will be allocated amongst the agencies that have been responsible for helping to combat PCB pollution in Pennsylvania, including the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and Pennsylvania Game Commission (PFBC).
“For decades, PCB pollution has contaminated fish in our waterways, disrupted recreational opportunities, and impaired a valuable food source for millions of Pennsylvanians,” said Tim Schaeffer, PFBC Executive Director. “On behalf of the anglers of Pennsylvania, we are proud to join our partner agencies in securing this settlement as we work to protect our cherished aquatic resources.”