DuPont settles pollution charges for $1.3m

Chemical titan DuPont has agreed a settlement with US authorities over eight hazardous chemical leaks from the company’s plant in Belle, US, between 2006 and 2010. DuPont will pay $1.3 million (£770,000) in fines, and make various improvements to its safety and emergency response procedures, which the firm estimates will cost a further $1.3 million to implement.

The allegations from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Justice contend that DuPont ‘released harmful quantities of hazardous substances and then did not report the releases to the National Response Center, State Emergency Response Commission and Local Emergency Planning Committee in a timely manner’. The most serious of these releases include 80 tons of methanol leaking into the Kanawha river, 900kg of methyl chloride gas, and a phosgene leak that killed a worker at the plant.

Since 2010, DuPont has been working under an EPA administrative order to correct problems that led to these releases, which it says has already cost $6.8 million.

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