Just as a grassroots effort was launching to hold DuPont accountable for commitments made in a 2005 class action lawsuit settlement agreement, the company released seemingly conflicting information about the future of the spin-off scheduled to take over the controversial fluorochemical operation at DuPont Washington Works.
The Delaware News Journal reported that DuPont is looking to shed millions of dollars in current and future environmental remediation baggage, including C8 cleanup costs. DuPont is creating a new company “Chemours” to take over the operations and the mounting environmental liabilities of three of its most volatile units including the fluorochemical unit at DuPont Washington Works.
At the same time, Robin Ollis-Stemple, DuPont’s regional public affairs manager, issued a statement to the local media saying that DuPont has consistently met its obligations from the C8 settlement and will continue to do so.
The statement said "Several years ago, DuPont, working together with the local community, funded a comprehensive study to evaluate whether any probable links exist between a material no longer used in operation of our Washington Works facility and any disease. We also committed to provide water filtration systems for six area water districts and fund a medical monitoring program for local residents."
Despite the claim, there is clear evidence DuPont intends to shirk the responsibility of maintaining community filtration systems and leave the ongoing costs of the court-mandated cleanup to Chemours.
On December 2, Andrew Harten of DuPont sent a letter to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency stating the company’s intention to transfer the ownership and operation of the Little Hocking Water Association GAC treatment site from DuPont to Chemours on July 1, 2015.
Under the terms of the initial settlement, DuPont agreed to pay for the construction and ongoing expenses of the filtration treatment plants infinitely if exposure could be scientifically linked to human disease. As the result of a massive health study involving 70,000 Mid-Ohio Valley residents, the C8 Science Panel determined a probable link exists between C8 exposure and pre-eclampsia, high cholesterol, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, and kidney and testicular cancer. (www.RiverCityNewsNetwork.com)