DuPont and Spin Off Firms Settle Ohio Lawsuit for $110 Million Over PFAS Environmental Threats

DuPont Co., along with spin-off firms Chemours Co. and Corteva Inc., has agreed to a $110 million settlement with the state of Ohio to resolve a lawsuit concerning environmental threats posed by toxic chemicals at a former DuPont facility in West Virginia. The settlement addresses Ohio’s claims related to releases of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly known as “forever chemicals,” and includes funds for restoration efforts and addressing PFAS claims statewide.

Key Settlement Terms:

  • The $110 million settlement involves DuPont, Chemours, and Corteva.
  • Ohio’s claims pertain to PFAS releases, manufacturing and sale of PFAS-containing products, and PFAS in firefighting foam.
  • PFAS are associated with health risks and have been used in nonstick coatings, firefighting foam, textiles, food packaging, and various household items.
  • Ohio will allocate 80% of the settlement for restoring natural resources linked to the Washington Works facility near Parkersburg, West Virginia, and 20% for addressing statewide PFAS claims, including firefighting foam use.

Background and Environmental Impact:

  • PFAS, or “forever chemicals,” are known for their longevity and have been linked to health problems.
  • The compounds were used in products like Teflon, firefighting foam, textiles, and food packaging.
  • The Washington Works facility in West Virginia has faced litigation over historical emissions of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a type of PFAS.
  • PFAS releases from the site have been associated with health issues among local residents.

Company Contributions to the Settlement:

  • DuPont will contribute approximately $39 million to the settlement.
  • Chemours, formerly DuPont’s performance chemicals unit, will pay about $55 million.
  • Corteva, the former agriculture division of DowDuPont, will cover the remaining portion of the settlement.

Previous Agreements and EPA Involvement:

  • A 2021 agreement with Delaware obligates the companies to pay an additional $25 million for environmental initiatives.
  • The settlement with Ohio follows the EPA’s Clean Water Act enforcement action against Chemours for PFAS pollution at the Washington Works facility.
  • PFAS levels in discharges from the facility exceeded permitted levels, prompting EPA intervention.

Conclusion: The $110 million settlement reflects a significant step toward addressing environmental concerns related to PFAS and underscores the companies’ responsibility for the impact of their past activities. The funds allocated for restoration and statewide efforts aim to mitigate the environmental consequences of PFAS, emphasizing the ongoing challenges associated with these persistent and harmful chemicals.

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