The Kauai County Department of Water could be eligible for $5,000 to $10,000 in settlement funds in a national class-action suit against Syngenta, which produced atrazine, an herbicide detected in groundwater at Lihue and Hanapepe, says Deputy Manager Bill Eddy. The money would be used to cover the costs of testing for atrazine, an endocrine-disrupting pesticide heavily used in sugar cane cultivation.
Though denying any wrongdoing, Syngenta has agreed to create a $105 million fund to settle litigation initiated by the City of Greenville, Ill. The suit claimed Syngenta knew atrazine would enter drinking water supplies, and sought costs to pay for its removal.
Eddy said Kauai County conducts regular water monitoring and atrazine has not been detected since 2007, when it was found in trace amounts in a Lihue water source. “We don’t believe it is currently in wide use,” he said.
Syngenta cultivates corn on the island’s west side, but officials did not respond to a call asking whether atrazine is being used on that crop. If the settlement is approved, Syngenta would be released from all claims that were or could have been asserted in the litigation for the next 10 years.