Solutia Signs Consent Decree on Anniston PCB Issues

Solutia Inc. (NYSE: SOI) has signed a comprehensive Consent Decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S.

Department of Justice that will help pave the way for the cleanup of PCBs in and around Anniston, Alabama, John C. Hunter, president and chief executive officer announced today.
"This Consent Decree represents a major step toward an effective, permanent cleanup for the Anniston community and builds on the investigation and cleanup work Solutia has done in Anniston and surrounding areas since the early 1990s," he said. "We hope to begin implementing the Consent Decree as soon as possible."

The Consent Decree has two key parts: a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study. The Remedial Investigation will ensure that all of the needed environmental information is gathered to assess potential risks to human health and the environment.

"Over the last few years, we have gathered much of the sampling data needed for the Remedial Investigation -- including more than 5,000 samples of soil, water, sediment and fish," Hunter said. "This should greatly accelerate the process."

The Feasibility Study will explore various ways to permanently address PCBs in Anniston and surrounding areas. Together, these studies will lead to a sound, long-term cleanup solution, he said.

The Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study will build on much of the investigation and cleanup work Solutia has done in Anniston since the early 1990s at a cost of $46 million. About 300 acres of land and more than a mile of drainage ditches have already been cleaned.

Hunter said it is important to note that while the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study are under way, Solutia will continue to take action to clean up PCBs in Anniston. "Our first and foremost goal is to finish cleaning the residential properties identified by the EPA as needing immediate action," he said. Solutia would have liked to complete this job sooner, but many of the property owners declined to provide access at the urging of their attorneys, he said. Still, the company has completed cleaning the first of the 24 properties, and is working on three more. Within the next month, Solutia expects to begin work on three or four additional properties.

Solutia is also responding to community concerns by spending $3.2 million over 12 years to establish an education foundation to help serve Anniston children. "This is an innovative, long-term commitment to provide educational support to children in the community," Hunter said.

"We understand that Anniston residents have concerns about the impact of PCBs in their community, and we're committed to doing what's right to deal properly with the PCBs from Monsanto's former operations," Hunter said. "This Consent Decree is an important milestone in achieving that goal."

600450 Solutia Signs Consent Decree on Anniston PCB Issues
Date: 27 March 2002
Source: Solutia

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