The City of San Diego and the San Diego Unified Port District filed suit against chemical giant Monsanto Monday for polluting the city’s bay and tidelands.
According to the lawsuit, Monsanto knowingly hid the well-documented health issues linked to polychlorinated biphenyls, commonly referred to as PCBs, in order to continue using compounds such as Aroclor.
“PCBs manufactured by Monsanto have been found in Bay sediments and water and have been identified in tissues of fish, lobsters, and other marine life in the Bay,” the complaint reads. “PCB contamination in and around the Bay affects all San Diegans and visitors who enjoy the Bay, who reasonably would be disturbed by the presence of a hazardous, banned substance in the sediment, water, and wildlife.”
“There is little probability that any action that can be taken will prevent the growing incrimination of specific polychlorinated biphenyls as nearly global environmental contaminants leading to contamination of human food (particularly fish), the killing of some marine species (shrimp), and the possible extinction of several species of fish eating birds,” the document states.
If the lawsuit is successful, the city, which was also sued in 2012 for polluting the San Diego bay, hopes to use the much needed funds to increase the chemical cleanup budget.
“In 2012, the San Diego Regional Water Control Board found the city and port responsible for pollution of San Diego Bay, namely in what has become known as the Shipyards Sediment Site,” the San Diego Reader article states. “In 2014, the City of San Diego agreed to pay $949,634 in fines for permitting the dumping of hazardous chemicals into the bay. The city also allocated $6.45 million to clean the Shipyards Sediment Site.”
Regardless of the lawsuit’s outcome, the revelation will likely only serve to further dismantle Monsanto’s hemorrhaging popularity among the public.
In fact, a 2014 Nielsen poll found the agricultural giant to be the third most-disliked company in America, an unsurprising discovery given the company’s $156 million fourth quarter loss from last year.
The latest US Geological Survey published in the journal Enviromental Toxicology and Chemistry also found that 75 percent of rain and air samples collected in Mississippi in 2007 were contaminated with the company’s infamous Roundup herbicide.