Oakland demand Monsanto for "continuous contamination" of San Francisco Bay
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The attorney for the City of Oakland Berbara Parker, in a lawsuit filed this week, wants the company to pay for environmental cleanup. It occurs after the Control Board of the State Water Resources had determined that the presence of highly toxic polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) in the rainwater from Oakland, threatening the local ecosystem.
Monsanto produced PCBs for about fifty years, until the US Congress banned the substance in 1979, and that endangers human health and the environment. PCBs were used in electrical equipment, paints, sealants and supplies for decades.
"The company responsible for this vast contamination should bear the burden of cleaning up our environment, not the taxpayers of Oakland and California," said Parker lawyer in a statement. "Monsanto knew that their products posed a significant threat to human health and the environment worldwide. However, the company chose gains on the protection of people, and American cities and its citizens continue to suffer the consequences. "
PCBs in Oakland stormwater could threaten wildlife and fish, said city spokeswoman.
The county could spend as much as one billion to eliminate PCB contamination, Parker wrote, according to its Web site in the city. San Jose, Seattle and San Diego have filed similar lawsuits against Monsanto.
Parker said the cost of cleaning should not be paid by taxpayers, and Monsanto should take responsibility.
The lawsuit against Monsanto is not unprecedented, the Swiss corporation Syngenta AG was forced to pay $ 105 million to settle a lawsuit in which the firm claimed poisoning herbicide hundreds of potable water communities through United States.
Although PCBs were banned for decades, it remains a persistent environmental pollutant and can be released into the environment through "sites poorly maintained hazardous waste containing PCB; illegal or improper dumping of PCB wastes; leaks or releases from electrical transformers containing PCBs; and disposal of consumer products containing PCBs in municipal landfills or other not designed to handle hazardous waste, "according to United States Environmental Protection Agency.