E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company Settlement

EPA settles PFOA case against DuPont for largest administrative civil penalty

On December 14, 2005, EPA forwarded to the Environmental Appeals Board (Board) a settlement with E.I du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) for the largest civil administrative penalty EPA has ever obtained under any federal environmental statute. The settlement resolves DuPont's violations related to the synthetic chemical perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which includes the four violations alleged in the Agency's two complaints filed against DuPont in July and December 2004, (EPA Files New Claim Alleging DuPont Withheld PFOA Information) and settles four additional counts involving information about PFOA that EPA obtained after initiating its action against DuPont. The settlement package requires DuPont to pay $10.25 million in civil penalties and perform Supplemental Environmental Projects worth $6.25 million.

DuPont PFOA Settlement Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs)

Fluorotelomer-based Product Biodegradation Testing SEP

The Biodegradation SEP will investigate the biodegradation potential of certain chemicals to breakdown to form PFOA. The SEP, valued at $5 million and to be completed in 3 years, will evaluate nine of DuPont's commercial fluorotelomer-based products in commerce prior to the settlement. Using two types of biodegradation studies, the SEP will help the public to better understand the inherent degradation potential of fluorotelomer-based products to form PFOA and the behavior of such products when released to the environment. DuPont will use independent laboratories to perform all work associated with the Biodegradation SEP and will hire an independent third party to serve as a Panel Administrator for a Peer Consultation Panel. The Peer Consultation Panel will address specific charges related to the biodegradation studies. The public will have the opportunity to nominate Peer Consultation Panel members. DuPont has agreed to require the laboratories it contracts with to follow the Agency's Good Laboratory Practices regulations as well as prepare and follow a Quality Assurance Project Plan.

Microscale Chemistry and Green Chemistry SEP

DuPont will spend $1.25 million to implement over an expected 3 year period the Microscale and Green Chemistry SEP, a SEP that will foster curriculum change in 7 schools in Wood County to reduce risk posed by chemicals using microscale chemistry, which reduces exposure to chemicals, and green chemistry, an approach that uses safer chemicals. The goals of this SEP include reducing the adverse impact to public health by minimizing the potential exposure to chemicals in schools, avoiding subsequent disposal issues for these materials, and enhancing science safety in all of the schools involved in the SEP. This SEP will involve close coordination with teachers and administrators in the participating schools.

For additional information, contact:

Eryn Witcher
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20460-0001
(202) 564-4359
Eryn Witcher (witcher.eryn@epa.gov)