Oregon has reached a settlement with the German pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Bayer over PCB pollution.

The $698 million deal ends a lawsuit associated with products made by Monsanto, which Bayer now owns, according to the state's attorney general.

The move makes Oregon the latest U.S. state to receive millions of dollars in damages from the company for pollution allegedly caused by the chemicals.

It's the largest environmental damage recovery in Oregon's history and "magnitudes larger" than any other state settlement over PCB contamination by Monsanto.

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Monsanto office sign

Monsanto’s research farm is pictured near Carman, Manitoba, Canada. ( REUTERS/Zachary Prong/File Photo / Reuters Photos)

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum described the agreement as "vitally important" to the state's land, air, water, wildlife and residents.

"When we start digging and understanding what is in our land what is in our water, it can really bring tears to your eyes. So let’s get this cleaned up so that our kids and our grandkids will not have tears in their eyes," she added, speaking at a news conference.

Bayer said in a statement that the settlement over "legacy Monsanto PCB products" fully resolves all Oregon’s claims and releases the company from any future liability. 

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Oregon shoreline

A section of newly formed beach is shown on the Willamette River in downtown Portland, Ore. Monsanto has agreed to pay Oregon a lump sum of $698 million for its role in polluting the state with PCBs over a 90-year period. ( (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File) / AP Newsroom)

The agreement contains no admission of liability or wrongdoing by the company.

"The settlement terms reflect the unique challenges and trial procedures in this Oregon venue even though Monsanto voluntarily ceased production of PCBs in 1977 and never manufactured, used or disposed of PCBs in Oregon," it said.

The settlement stems from a 2018 lawsuit against Monsanto claiming the company's products polluted the state until PCBs were banned in the 1970s. 

The case went to trial in May. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change % BAYRY BAYER AG 13.44 -0.42 -3.03%

A jury was selected and initial hearings were held, but the case was settled once the trial was underway.

PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, were used in many industrial and commercial applications — including paint, coolants, sealants and hydraulic fluids. 

Bayer acquired Monsanto in 2018 for over $60 billion.

Bayer headquarters sign

The Bayer AG logo sits on display at the headquarters in La Garenne-Colombes, near Paris. (REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo / Reuters Photos)

Bayer has also reached agreements totaling more than $275 million to resolve similar lawsuits with the attorneys general of Washington state, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Ohio and the District of Columbia.

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The Oregon Department of Justice said it will work with the Legislature, the governor, and state agencies to decide how to allocate the funds.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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