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August 25, 2003
Volume 81, Number 34
CENEAR 81 34 p. 10
ISSN 0009-2347


POLLUTION

MONSANTO, SOLUTIA SHELL OUT ON PCBS
Firms to pay $600 million to settle claims by residents of Anniston, Ala.

CHERYL HOUGE

Monsanto and Solutia will pay a combined $600 million to settle claims of more than 20,000 residents of Anniston, Ala., that their bodies and property were polluted with polychlorinated biphenyls.

Angry Residents of Anniston, Ala., marched in protest on Aug. 19, 2001.
PHOTO BY TRENT PENNY/ANNISTON STAR
The agreement, announced on Aug. 20, settles two PCB-related cases, one in federal court with about 17,000 plaintiffs and a second in state court with 3,500 plaintiffs. The plant in Anniston that made PCBs between 1929 and 1971 was owned for decades by Monsanto. Monsanto spun off its chemicals business as Solutia in 1997. Pharmacia & Upjohn bought Monsanto in 2000 and later spun it off as an agricultural products company.

In Anniston, some of the now-banned PCBs entered local waterways, and tests show that some local residents have elevated levels of the substances in their bodies (C&EN, May 13, 2002, page 27).

Under the settlement, Monsanto will provide approximately $390 million in cash, commercial insurance will cover about $160 million, and Solutia will kick in $50 million over a decade.

“The global settlement is in the best interest of Monsanto and our shareowners,” company President and CEO Hugh Grant comments. The settlement removes a great risk—the uncertain length and outcome of litigation—to Monsanto shareholders, he says.

Solutia Chairman and CEO John C. Hunter III says, “We’re glad to have this litigation behind us.” The settlement puts the company in a better position to handle its financial challenges, he says.

In addition to the settlement dollars from Monsanto and Solutia, Pfizer, which purchased Pharmacia in April, will fund more than $75 million in environmental health care programs, including a clinic and research facility, in Anniston.



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Related Stories
Solutia Sues Over Anninston PCBS
[C&EN, Jun. 16, 2003]

Anniston PCB Cleanup Settlement Revised
[C&EN, Oct. 28, 2002]

Solutia Soldiers On
[C&EN, Oct. 28, 2002]

Assessing Anniston
[C&EN, May 13, 2002]

Solutia Clears Up Debts Woes For Now
[C&EN, Aug. 5, 2002]

Related Sites
Solutia

Monsanto

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