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Dow Jones Newswires: Two former Monsanto companies agree to pay $700,000, clean up superfund sites — Update

Solutia Inc. and Pharmacia LLC, two successors of the former agriculture giant Monsanto Co., agreed to pay $700,000 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in reimbursement costs for the cleanup of four former landfills and waste lagoons in Sauget, Ill.

The two companies, now under Eastman Chemical Co.
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-1.12%

and Pfizer Inc.
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+4.32%
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respectively, will also complete the cleanup at the so-called superfund sites, or areas that are contaminated with hazardous substances and require long-term remedial action. The cleanup is estimated to cost around $17.9 million and will cover over 270 acres, the U.S. Justice Department said. The sites are located across the Mississippi River from St. Louis.

“We are pleased to have concluded these negotiations and look forward to working with EPA to implement a cost-effective remedy for Sauget Area 2,” referring to the superfund sites, an Eastman Chemical spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

A Pfizer spokeswoman, who said the company wasn’t involved in the case, referred questions to Bayer AG
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which acquired Monsanto in 2018. Pharmacia spun off from Monsanto in 2002 and merged with Pfizer in 2003.

A Bayer spokesperson couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The sites were used by local industries to dispose of hazardous and other wastes over much of the past century, the Justice Department said Tuesday. The remedial actions will help mitigate exposure to harmful contaminants, such as lead, cadmium, benzene and chlorobenzene that can cause cancer, the agency said.

Solutia and Pharmacia have previously paid for the removal of hazardous waste in the area and installed a wall to prevent contaminated groundwater from leaching into the Mississippi River, the Justice Department said.

This is one in a number of cases and settlements the Justice Department and EPA are engaged in that call for polluters to pay for the investigation and cleanup of superfund sites, the agency said.

In October, Montrose Chemical Corp. of California, Bayer CropScience Inc., TFCF America Inc., and Stauffer Management Co. LLC agreed to pay more than $77 million for the cleanup and investigation of two superfund sites in Los Angeles County and over $8 million in reimbursement costs to the EPA and a California agency.

Write to Kimberly Chin at kimberly.chin@wsj.com

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