Thursday, March 19, 2009

WVDEP Fines DuPont for Discharging "Unpermitted Pollutants"

DuPont is facing a fine in excess of $1.6 million for environmental violations and exceedance of state permits at the Washington Works wastewater treatment facility and two closed landfills in Wood County.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection found that the local plant violated the Water Pollution Control Act and the Solid Waste Management Act. An administrative consent order signed this week is intended to settle violations that were observed by the state agency from 2004 to 2008.

The funds will go to the state’s Water Quality Management Fund.

DuPont is required to immediately report any spills to the agency by means of a designated spill hotline, but in May 2006 the company failed to do so after discharging 2,487 pounds of Fluorinated Ethylene Propylene liquid. FEP is a Teflon application manufactured with the controversial chemical known as C8 or PFOA.*

In other instances, DEP says spills were reported, but resulted in violations because the company is prohibited from releasing unpermitted pollutants into state waters. Storm water and landfill violations were also cited in the consent order.

*According to DuPont's own internal correspondence. FEP is used in Teflon applications for flexible products like tubing, plastic sheeting, and o-rings.

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