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Area officials to testify in atrazine lawsuit

Marion City Administrator Doug Kjellin and Public Works Director Marty Fredrickson will give testimony in a lawsuit against Syngenta Crop Protection Inc. and Syngenta AG, makers of the herbicide, atrazine.

Kjellin and Fredrickson will travel June 23 and 24 to St. Louis to give depositions in the lawsuit, in which the City of Marion is a plaintiff. A deposition is a transcript of testimony given outside of court.

Attorneys from Dallas-based law firm Baron and Budd met with the officials Thursday to prepare them for the depositions. The law firm will reimburse the city for Kjellin and Fredrickson’s travel expenses.

The lawsuit, filed March 8, 2010, contends Syngenta is liable for atrazine contamination in public water supplies, causing health problems.

The cities of Marion and Hillsboro each voted to join the lawsuit in March 2009. Although the City of Hillsboro never voted to remove itself from the litigation, the city wasn’t included in the list of plaintiffs because the city council wanted to review its decision to participate.

The Environmental Protection Agency limits atrazine in water supplies to 3.0 parts-per-billion. The city’s water quality report, released earlier this month, shows considerably less than that, 0.39 parts per billion, as the highest level of atrazine in the water supply in the past year.

Last modified June 16, 2011

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