Other cities have sued over PCB pollution, but San Diego’s case is unique.
by Natasha Geiling / Think Progress / March 25, 2015
In a 1970 internal memo, agrochemical giant Monsanto alerted its development committee to a problem: Polychlorinated Biphenyls — known as PCBs — had been shown to be a highly toxic pollutant.
PCBs — sold under the common name Aroclor — were also huge business, raking in some $10 million in profits. Not wanting to lose all of these profits, Monsanto decided to continue its production of Aroclor while alerting its customers to its potentially adverse effects. Monsanto got out of the PCB business altogether in 1977 — two years before the chemicals were banned by the EPA — but just because the company no longer produces the toxic substances doesn’t mean it can forget about them completely.
Nor can the areas impacted by PCB pollution. On March 13, the city of San Diego, California filed a lawsuit against Monsanto for the company’s role in the production of PCBs.