DuPont Settlement

By: Todd Baucher
By: Todd Baucher

Nine months after finalizing a settlement with residents over C8, or PFOA, DuPont and the EPA have settled over charges the company did not report the possible effects of the chemical.

While the more than $16 million settlement is the largest of its kind in history, it's where the money will go may be more significant.

"DuPont will spend $1.25 million to implement the microscale and green chemistry projects in schools in Wood County," said Granta Nakayama, Assistant EPA Administrator. "The projects will reduce risks to children's health and enhance science safety in all of the participating schools."

And the attorney who handled the initial class action residential lawsuit believes DuPont is doing the right thing.

"I'm very impressed that DuPont, since this matter has come to light, has done everything it can to head things in the right direction," said Charleston Attorney Harry Deitzler.

The EPA says it's interested in the results of testing of area residents, part of the settlement of the original lawsuit approved earlier this year, but it won't say if those results could lead to more action against the company.

There have been two issues here. One, obviously, is the health and safety of people who live around the Washington Works plant. The other, however, is economic. DuPont Washington Works is Wood County's, and the area's largest private employer.

"I think the future is good," said Washington Works Manager Bill Hopkins. "The PFOA issue is one part of that. We've been working to reduce emissions; we've reduced emissions over 98 percent. This allows us to get on with that work. I think the products we make are very valuable to society. I think Washington Works is a very viable site to DuPont."

The settlement still has to be approved by an EPA panel, and it does not prevent the agency from seeking criminal charges against DuPont.

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