This excerpt taken from the SYT 20-F filed Mar 1, 2006.
Greens Bayou In February 2001, the Port of Houston Authority (the Port) filed suit against GB Biosciences Holdings, Inc., GB Biosciences Corporation, and certain other Syngenta entities (including Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc.) in Texas State Court regarding contamination that has allegedly migrated off the GB Biosciences Greens Bayou site in Houston, Texas. The Greens Bayou site, which manufactures an agricultural fungicide, was acquired in February 1998 from Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha, Ltd. (ISK). The on site past use of certain chlorinated organic compounds employed in the manufacture of certain pesticides has contributed to soil and groundwater contamination, some of which has been detected on and under the adjacent property owned by the Port and in sediments of the adjoining Greens Bayou. The contamination at issue mainly involves certain chlorinated pesticides generated before 1970 by the prior owner of the plant, also named as a defendant. While this contamination is
generally being addressed under the sites Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit, the Port nonetheless filed suit. On December 19, 2003, the Syngenta entity defendants, along with co-defendants ISK and Occidental Chemical Company (Occidental) and certain of their affiliates settled the Ports lawsuit by agreeing to conduct certain remediation activities expected to cost approximately US$45 million, to pay the Port US$35 million and to provide an indemnity having a maximum liability of US$20 million. The Syngenta, ISK and Occidental defendants agreed to share the costs of the settlement on an interim basis subject to determination of their ultimate shares of liability in further proceedings. The defendants agreed to participate in a binding arbitration to determine the amount of Occidentals ultimate contribution to the overall settlement. Agreement to settle with Occidental was entered into on January 18, 2006. Discussions with ISK pursuant to the indemnities given by ISK in the 1998 acquisition agreement are continuing.