SALEM, Ore. – Monsanto has agreed to pay the state over a half billion dollars over accusations of decades of environmental contamination.
Monsanto will be on the hook for $698 million for its role in polluting the state with polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCB’s, for the past 90 years.
The state says Monsanto was the only manufacturer, seller, and distributor of PCB’s.
The state’s lawsuit alleges Monsanto knew of the compound’s toxic nature as early as 1937 and continued to produce and promote it until it was banned in 1977.
Oregon claims the damages from the compounds are statewide.
“It’s amazing how extensive the contamination is. Quite a lot of it is in the Columbia, Willamette area, but you’ll recognize names all over the state: Coos Bay, Deschutes, pretty much a who’s who in the state of Oregon,” Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said.
Bayer, the German company that owns Monsanto, released a statement saying, “The Oregon agreement contains no admission of liability or wrongdoing by the company.”
The DOJ will be working with the state legislature, the Governor, as well as state agencies to put the funds to use for environmental cleanup.