Our Stolen Futurea book by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers
 
 

 

St. Louis Business Journal
6 June 2003

Solutia sues 19 companies to recover Alabama cleanup costs

Solutia Inc. has filed suit against 19 companies that contributed to environmental contamination in Anniston, Ala., seeking sharing of cleanup costs.

However, the company said it will continue its cleanup of PCBs and hazardous metals in the Anniston area while the suit gets under way.

Monsanto Co. manufactured PCBs in Anniston from 1929 to 1971. In 1971, the company stopped production in Anniston and moved it to its plant in Sauget, Ill., just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. More than a year ago, an Alabama jury found Solutia, then Monsanto, liable for knowingly contaminating homes and bodies in the Anniston area with PCBs, known carcinogens. More than 3,500 residents of Anniston had sued both companies.

"As Solutia was conducting sampling and cleanup activities under an earlier agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, we discovered that some of the materials being cleaned up, particularly lead, cadmium and arsenic, did not originate with us," said John Hunter, chairman and chief executive of Solutia, in a statement. "It became evident that other industries played a significant role, and they should have financial responsibility for the cleanup."

Solutia said nearly one-third of the $54 million it has spent so far on cleaning up the area addressed materials and contamination its PCB plant did not generate. In addition, the company said evidence shows that the majority of the residential properties to be cleaned up were contaminated by other sources than Monsanto's PCB runoff or discharges.

The suit was also filed on behalf of Pharmacia Corp., which bought Monsanto several years ago, before spinning it off and being acquired itself by Pfizer Inc.

St. Louis-based Solutia Inc. (NYSE: SOI) develops specialty chemicals, fibers, fluids and other performance products.

 
   
   

 

 

 

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