EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSSettlement Reached In Alleged DuPont Clean Air Act Violations
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Bethany Simmons
Web Producer: Bethany Simmons
Reported: Oct. 28, 2013 4:38 PM EDT
Updated: Oct. 28, 2013 5:02 PM EDT
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that E.I. DuPont has agreed to settle alleged Clean Air Act violations at the DuPont facility located in Wood County.
The proposed settlement was filed Monday in federal district court in Charleston by the U.S. Department of Justice, according to a news release from the EPA in Philadelphia. In the proposed decree, DuPont has agreed to pay an $800,000 civil penalty, and implement several safeguards to limit emissions of hazardous air pollutants including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, methanol and acetal, the EPA said.
VOCs contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, which a major component of smog and can cause or aggravate respiratory disease. Ozone also causes damage to forests and crops, fabric and exterior coatings such as oil and acrylic latex, oil coatings and automotive finishes. Some known or suspected effects of exposure to hazardous air pollutants include cancer, reproductive health problems, and birth defects, according to the release.
The civil complaint also alleged several violations of the Clean Air Act's' leak detection and repair at DuPont's Washington Works facility. The violations, which are alleged to have begun in 2007, included failure to monitor pumps, valves, and connectors; failure to calibrate monitoring equipment; fairly to identify and report equipment containing hazardous air pollutants; failure to close open-ended lines containing hazardous air pollutants; and, failure to conduct required pressure tests, the EPA said.
In addition to the $800,000 penalty, to be divided equally between the United States and West Virginia, the consent decree includes injunctive relief requiring DuPont to implement several measures to improve Clean Air Act compliance and reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants at the Washington Works plant, according to the release.
The proposed consent decree, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.
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