By: Jim McKeever

HARTFORD – The City of Hartford and  Hartford Board of Education announced the filing of a lawsuit against the Monsanto Company for the costs of removing PCBs found at JC Clark Elementary School.

The lawsuit seeks to shift the full costs of removal and remediation of the PCBs to the Monsanto Company, the sole manufacturer of the man-made compounds.

The PCBs were discovered during a sprinkler installation project late last year. Since then the schools and the City have been working with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and Connecticut’s Departments of Administrative Services, Health, and Energy and Environmental Protection to implement a plan to remediate the space.

A pilot program to conduct an experimental round of remediation work was recently approved.The first round of remediation is expected to be completed by January.

“Our families and taxpayers should not have to bear the costs for this project. By shifting the costs to Monsanto who is ultimately responsible for selling the PCBs we are not burdening our taxpayers or families who have already had to deal with the inconvenience,” said Mayor Pedro E. Segarra in statement.

The Monsanto Company was the only domestic producer of PCBs until the United States Congress banned them in 1979. Before then, Monsanto’s PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, were incorporated into a variety of building materials including paint, caulk, fluorescent lights and electrical equipment.

The City of Hartford has retained Dallas-based Baron & Budd, P.C., a firm that has represented hundreds of public entities nationwide whose water supplies, properties, or natural resources are affected by chemical contaminants.

Originally Published: FOX CT