EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (CN) – Syngenta will pay $105 million to settle claims from dozens of Midwest water districts that its herbicide atrazine has entered water supplies.
A federal judge must approve the deal. The settlement would resolve claims from water districts in at least six states. As many as 2,000 U.S. water districts may be eligible to make a claim.
Under the settlement, Syngenta denies any liability linked to atrazine and will continue to sell the herbicide to U.S. farmers.
Research has shown that runoff can wash the chemical into streams and rivers, where it can enter drinking water supplies.
The lawsuit claimed that atrazine in drinking water can cause low birth weight, birth defects and reproductive problems. Switzerland-based Syngenta claimed that no one has ever been exposed to enough atrazine in drinking water to affect their health.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys will share about $34.9 million in fees. No hearing date has been set yet on the settlement.