Dupont pays up

DuPont is to pay $10.25 million to settle violations over its failure to disclose to the US Environmental Protection Agency the substantial risk to human health or the environment of Perfluorooctanoic Acid.


DuPont is to pay $10.25 million to settle violations over its failure to disclose to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the substantial risk to human health or the environment of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA).



Under the settlement, filed with the Agency’s Environmental Appeals Board (EAB), Dupont is also committing to $6.25 million for Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs).


The settlement, which still must be approved by the EAB, would resolve four violations alleged in the Agency’s two complaints filed against DuPont in July and December 2004, and settles four additional counts involving information about PFOA that EPA obtained after initiating its action against DuPont.



Seven of the eight counts involve violations of the US law that requires that companies report to the EPA substantial risk information about chemicals they manufacture, process or distribute.


PFOA (also known as C8 or Ammonium Perfluorooctanoate [APFO]), is used in the manufacturing process of fluoropolymers, including some Teflon products, at DuPont’s Washington Works facility in Washington, W.VA. Fluoropolymers impart desirable properties, including fire resistance and oil, stain, grease, and water repellency. They are used to provide non-stick surfaces on cookware and waterproof, breathable membranes for clothing.


As part of this settlement, DuPont has voluntarily agreed to undertake two Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) valued at $6.25 million. A SEP is an environmentally beneficial project that the violator agrees to undertake in exchange for mitigation of the penalty to be paid. SEPs are related to the environmental violation and further EPA’s goal of protecting and enhancing public health and the environment.


The first SEP, valued at $5 million and to be completed in three years, is a project designed to investigate the potential of nine of DuPont’s fluorotelomer-based products to breakdown to form PFOA. This SEP will help industry, scientists, the public and EPA examine the potential sources of PFOA in the environment and potential routes of human exposure to PFOA.


For the second SEP, DuPont will spend $1.25 million to implement the Microscale and Green Chemistry Project at schools in Wood County, West Virginia. This SEP will foster science laboratory curriculum changes to reduce risks posed by chemicals in schools.



More information on the violations is available here.