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Monsanto successor companies to clean up remaining contamination at Sauget sites

Solutia and Pharmacia to pay $700,000 in past response costs and implement cleanup estimated to cost $17.9 million

Solutia Inc. and Pharmacia LLC, successors to Monsanto Company, will complete the cleanup of four former landfills and waste lagoons in Sauget, federal officials said Tuesday.

The settlement will require the companies to reimburse EPA $700,000 in past costs spent at the sites and take responsibility for implementing EPA’s cleanup plan estimated to cost $17.9 million.

“This settlement is one in a series that requires the industry that polluted Sauget and Cahokia, Ill., to clean up their mess,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce S. Gelber of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “This settlement demonstrates the Justice Department’s and EPA’s continuing efforts, together with our state partners, to ensure that polluters, not the American public, pay for the investigation and cleanup of Superfund sites.”

“For too long, residents in the Metro East area have been overburdened by legacy sources of pollution,” said Administrator Debra Shore of EPA’s Region 5. “Today’s settlement is the result of years of EPA’s efforts to investigate the extent and sources of soil and surface water contamination in the four former landfills that make up Sauget Area 2, and to hold accountable those who placed it there.”

Under the settlement, Solutia and Pharmacia will be required to implement the remedy selected by EPA for over 270 acres designated as Sauget Area 2 Sites O, Q, R and S. The sites were used by area industry to dispose of hazardous and other wastes throughout much of the 20th century. The hazardous waste includes toxic substances and known carcinogens, including PCBs, dioxin, lead, cadmium, benzene and chlorobenzene. Although the industrial area is not readily accessible to the public, the remedial actions required under this settlement will prevent exposure to these harmful contaminants for workers, anglers or others who gain access to the sites.

The cleanup requires placing engineered caps over identified waste areas, conducting vapor intrusion mitigation and controlling access to the sites. This is only the latest in various lawsuits and settlements involving the cleanup of these former landfills dating back 15 years in which Solutia and Pharmacia have conducted extensive investigations, paid for the removal of hazardous wastes and installed a slurry wall to prevent contaminated groundwater from leaching into the nearby Mississippi River.

The consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. The consent decree will be available for viewing at https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees.

 

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