City of Portland to file Suite Against Monsanto for PCBs

The Portland City Attorney has submitted an item for Council approval to support a lawsuit against Monsanto to recover costs expended in the Superfund Cleanup of the Willamette River caused by PCBs. See http://www.portlandoregon.gov/auditor/article/568795

Authorize the City Attorney to take legal action against Monsanto Company and its
successor entities to recover public funds that have been and will be expended by the City
as a result of the manufacture and distribution of polychlorinated biphenyls PCBs
(Resolution)
WHEREAS, Monsanto Company was the exclusive manufacturer of PCBs in the United
States from 1935 until the United States Environmental Protection Agency banned the
manufacture of PCBs in 1979; and
WHEREAS, PCBs are a persistent biological toxin that accumulate in fish tissue and are
persistent in the environment for decades; and
WHEREAS, PCBs interfere with human uses and ecological health of waterbodies in
Portland to the detriment of Portlanders; and
WHEREAS, court documents show that Monsanto Company knew that PCBs were toxic
to the natural environment and to fish, humans and other living organisms but
nonetheless continued to manufacture, sell and distribute PCBs; and
WHEREAS, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is requiring the City to
increase its efforts to identify sources and reduce discharges of PCBs into the City
drainage system; and
WHEREAS, contamination from PCBs has been found in sediments within the City of
Portland in the Columbia Slough and the Willamette River; and
WHEREAS, as a result of PCB contamination the City has expended public funds for
remedial action costs in the Columbia Slough, Willamette River and other water bodies in
Portland and will continue to incur costs and expend public funds to address the effects
of this contamination; and
WHEREAS, the law provides a remedy for the City to recover costs attributable to the
acts and omissions of those responsible for the contamination; and
WHEREAS, it is in the public interest for the City to recover the public funds expended
as a result of Monsanto 's manufacture, sale and distribution of PCBs;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that, the City Attorney or her designee is
authorized to commence an action in any competent tribunal in order to protect the City's
rights and recover damages and/or any other relief against Monsanto Company and its
successors, and to pursue to conclusion in any higher tribunal and to make any
stipulation, agreement, or admission as in her judgment may be in the best interest of the
City.