The U.S. EPA and the Department of Justice plan to file a cleanup consent decree today with Solutia and Pharmacia (the company that owns Monsanto), in a move that could overrule any court-ordered cleanup of PCBs from a former Monsanto chemical plant in Anniston, Ala. Under the decree, the two companies would investigate the scope of contamination from the former plant and the resulting ecological and human health risks. The companies would also have to clean up the most contaminated areas, pay back the EPA for past investigative costs, and fund special education programs and a community advisory group in Anniston. EPA Administrator Christie Whitman defended the negotiated cleanup as better and faster than a Superfund listing, but critics said allowing the companies to perform the investigation was like letting the fox guard the henhouse.