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Mitchell And Bedford Utilities Receive Settlement Funds In Atrazine Suit

Last updated on Monday, February 11, 2013

(UNDATED) - The water funds for the cities of both Bedford and Mitchell got a healthy boost from portions of a $105 million class action lawsuit settlement aimed at reimbursing each for extra chemical costs relating to atrazine removal.

Krystal Shetler of the Times-Mail reports that both municipalities filed claims in the suit last summer.

The settlement was meant to help reimburse communities for past expenses associated with the removal of atrazine from the water.

Syngenta Crop Protection and Syngenta AG settled the federal court case that accused Syngenta, a leading manufacturer of the weed killer atrazine, of damaging water supplies in mostly agricultural communities.

Atrazine is sprayed on corn and other crops and frequently runs off of fields and into waterways used as drinking water sources.

Bedford's water department received $235,012.51 from the settlement, according to Utilities Director Misty Adams. While Mitchell's water department received $124,345.95.

All of that money does not go to the city's general fund to use as city officials see fit. Instead, it was deposited into the water fund to reimburse each utility for the extra chemicals that were used to remove the atrazine from the drinking water.

The local water departments were among the 1,085 water systems, providing water to nearly 37 million people, that benefitted from this settlement. Individual amounts were calculated based on the contamination history of the claimants.

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