Portland Becomes Seventh City to Sue Monsanto Over PCB Contamination
Portland, Oregon is suing Monsanto over contaminating the city's waterways with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a highly toxic group of chemicals that endangers human health and the environment.
Portland City Council unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday authorizing city attorney Tracy Reeve to sue the biotech giant.
"Portland's elected officials are committed to holding Monsanto accountable for its apparent decision to favor profits over ecological and human health," Reeve said in a statement. "Monsanto profited from selling PCBs for decades and needs to take responsibility for cleaning up after the mess it created."
Travis Williams, executive director of Willamette Riverkeeper, explained to KGW: "In our case there are PCBs widely distributed throughout Portland Harbor and that's one of the main reasons it was listed as a superfund site back in December of 2000."
The city has spent more than $1 billion cleaning up the Willamette, Portland mayor Charlie Hales told OPB.
"The citizens of Portland dug deep in order to pay for cleaning up our mess, and other businesses should be held to that standard," Hales added.
As reported by The Portland Tribune:
In an email statement, Monsanto spokesman Sam Murphey said the St. Louis-based company is reviewing the lawsuit and its allegations, but isn't responsible for the alleged damages. The company has reorganized since it halted production of PCBs and has undergone a series of mergers, acquisitions and spinoffs, and says it's now a different company legally.