More than a dozen Indiana water utilities will receive checks of $100,000 or more as part of $105 million in settlement disbursements announced last week in the last phase of litigation involving the weed killer atrazine that contaminated more than 1,100 water systems nationwide.
Indianapolis is one of three cities that will receive checks of more than $1 million, according to the St. Louis law firm of Korein Tillery that announced Jan. 16 that checks were being distributed under the settlement approved in October in City of Greenville v. Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., 3:10-cv-00188.
The settlement was meant to reimburse communities for past expenses associated with removing atrazine from drinking water supplies. The herbicide manufactured primarily by Swiss company Syngenta is sprayed on corn crops but is a suspected endocrine disruptor that has been the subject of a special review by the EPA. Atrazine has been banned in Europe.
“Science has been fighting an uphill battle against giant pesticide manufacturers like Syngenta who claim that a little weed killer in your drinking water won’t hurt you,” said Korein Tillery senior partner Stephen M. Tillery. “Independent scientists now believe that even trace amounts can harm you and your children for generations to come.
“Every cent of the settlement fund will be distributed to class members,” Tillery said.
The settlement was approved Oct. 23 by Judge Phil Gilbert of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. Tillery said the percentage of class participation in the settlement was unprecedented.