DC Sues Chemical Producer Over Pesticide Air pollution

BY DREW COSTLEY, AP Science Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The District of Columbia filed a lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court Thursday in opposition to chemical producer Velsicol Chemical, LLC, claiming it violated metropolis environmental legal guidelines by polluting a serious waterway, the Anacostia River and the encircling space for many years.

A criticism filed by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine alleges that Velsicol produced a pesticide that contained chlordane and marketed it to low-income owners within the metropolis from 1945 to 1988. That was the yr the chemical was banned on the market within the U.S. by the Environmental Protection Agency over well being results in people, together with tremors, convulsions and most cancers.

But Racine claimed at a press convention that Velsicol knew lengthy earlier than that that chlordane might trigger most cancers, way back to 1959, but nonetheless bought merchandise that contained it.

Rachel Carson raised alarm bells about chlordane within the seminal environmental guide, “Silent Spring,” revealed in 1962.

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Velsicol didn’t instantly return requires remark.

As lately because the Nineteen Sixties, D.C. residents used the Anacostia River for recreation and meals, however years of air pollution from quite a lot of sources — sewage, chemical runoff and litter — made the river unusable.

The lawsuit developed out of a decades-long effort to wash up the river, Racine stated. Local environmentalists, like Matt Gravatt, chair of the D.C. chapter of the Sierra Club, stated the river is sort of again to being protected for public use, however not but.

City departments and environmental researchers have identified in regards to the potential hurt of chlordane within the Anacostia for many years. The yr after the EPA ban, the district put out an advisory warning residents in opposition to consuming fish caught from the river, partly as a result of ranges of chlordane in aquatic life exceeded limits steered by the Food and Drug Administration.

In the lawsuit, the legal professional common’s workplace stated it anticipates town will spend $35 million remediating sediment contaminated with chlordane and different poisonous chemical substances. The hope is the award will assist pay for the river cleanup.

Follow Drew Costley on Twitter: @drewcostley.

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives assist from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely chargeable for all content material.

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