From the City of Grand Island:
Recently the city of Grand Island received over $38,000 as its share of a settlement in a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer of atrazine, a product widely used throughout the Midwest to control weeds on corn crops.
Although useful as a weed killer, atrazine has the side effect of contaminating water supplies once it runs off into rivers and seeps into the water table.
The amount of the settlement was derived from a formula approved by the parties and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, where the case was litigated.
Using scientific testing and utility customer data, City Attorney Bob Sivick and Utilities Director Tim Luchsinger prepared a claim on behalf of the Grand Island which was approved by the Honorable J. Phil Gilbert at a hearing held in October 2012.
The Utilities Department takes hundreds of water samples annually to determine the presence of any contaminants, including atrazine. Atrazine has been detected in some of the water sources at levels less than five percent of the Maximum Contaminant Level allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency for drinking water, and will continued to be monitored to ensure that public health is not at risk.
Sivick stated, “I am pleased to receive these funds on behalf of the city of Grand Island as compensation for potential additional expenses resulting from the contamination of the City’s water supply from atrazine. The City’s Administration and its Utilities and Legal Departments are committed to insuring the people of Grand Island and its water utility customers always have a reliable source of safe, clean drinking water.”
The Annual Water Report, found on the city’s website at www.grand-island.com/annualwaterreport, provides detailed information on the quality of the city’s drinking water, including the levels of atrazine.