DuPont’s Crop Protection President Rik Miller said nearly 30,000 claims have already been submitted claims over the herbicide Imprelis, which was put on the market last year and was quickly linked to the deaths of thousands of trees. Less than half of the claims received have been processed, though officials hope to have all processed by fall. The New York Times reports that compensation for the claims has run “into the hundreds of millions of dollars,” according to DuPont officials, and though they declined to estimate just how many trees across the country have died from the herbicide, claims are still be filed.
DuPont pulled Imprelis from the market last August after trees started dying within week of Imprelis being applied. The Environmental Protection Agency later banned Imprelis.
Officials from DuPont have set aside $225 million for previously submitted claims, though the New York Times reports the payout could reach as high as $575 million, which does not include a class action lawsuit pending in Philadelphia federal court.
It is unknown whether Imprelis remains in soil, and if it will affect new trees. Michigan State University associate professor of tree physiology Bert Cregg told the news paper, “There may be damage that has yet to be discovered. Some trees look worse this year.”