Among Gowan's compelling evidence was an agreement by Monsanto and their then waste contractors, Purle Brothers, accepting 50/50 liability for the cost of site remediation by the end of 1972.A position later confirmed by Monsanto’s Environment Director DB Shearn, in a 1989 Thames TV broadcast, in which he openly admits to a “shared liability”.
Initially it was privately owned, but then subsequently state owned before again being privatised in the Eighties.
Gowan gave his advice as someone who had spent 10 years of his life acting as a Trustee or Examiner in the USBC, and as a former US based consultant specialising in company re-organisations, and complex financial frauds.
Gowan was also advocating phased remediation so as to protect the community and environment, but unlike at Bawtry the Agency refused to consider the option, despite the presence of chemicals known to be far more toxic, citing the fact that only one farm was at optimal risk, and an underground aquifer that was not yet in use.
The ruling means each contaminated site case will have to now be investigated individually as to the key question, which is whether the alleged appropriate person who, as a successor, now controls or operates a site, was a “knowing permitter”.
Essentially, the Agency was told it had to prove where the pollutants came from and who put them there in order to make a case.Initially they decided on option 5, to engage with Gowan.