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DuPont settles with U.S. EPA on PFOA reporting issue

DuPont today announced it has reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in an en...


December 14, 2005  


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DuPont today announced it has reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in an enforcement action related to the chemical compound perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), pending final approval by the EPA Environmental Appeals Board.

The agreement resolves four counts of reporting violations under the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act that were filed in 2004, one of which dates back to the 1980s. Four additional counts, raised by the agency in 2005, also were resolved. The settlement closes this matter for DuPont without any admission of liability.

“Our interpretation of the reporting requirements differed from the agency’s,” said DuPont senior vice president and general counsel Stacey Mobley. “The settlement allows us to put this matter behind us and move forward. We have already cut PFOA emissions from U.S. plant sites by 98%, and we are committed to reducing those emissions by 99% by 2007.”

In April, DuPont and EPA confirmed that they had reached an agreement in principle, subject to certain conditions, to resolve the complaint. At that time, the company established and announced a reserve of US$15 million, pending final resolution of the matter.

Today, the company said it will pay US$10.25 million in fines and an additional US$6.25 million for two supplemental environmental projects to be undertaken in connection with the settlement.

The supplemental environmental projects include funding for a research program to evaluate the potential for fluorotelomer biodegradation.

EPA continues its risk assessment process for PFOA to determine if there are any issues that require a regulatory response. DuPont continues to support and fully participate in the risk assessment process.

PFOA is an essential processing aid used in DuPont’s fire-resistant material Teflon FEP, short for fluoropolymers, which can be found in everything from automotive fuel systems and communications cabling to computer chip processing equipment and frying pans.