The Hindu Business Line

DuPont to pay $50 m over mercury-contaminat­ed rivers


Chemical giant DuPont will pay more than $50 million but admit no fault under a proposed environmen­tal settlement after releasing toxic mercury for decades that made its way into Shenandoah Valley waterways, state and federal officials announced.

The deal would resolve alleged violations of civil environmen­tal statutes, including the Clean Water Act, related to the pollution from a company factory in Waynesboro.

It would amount to the largest environmen­tal damage settlement in Virginia history and the eighth largest in the nation, officials said.

The money would go to projects including wildlife habitat restoratio­n, water quality enhancemen­t and improvemen­ts to recreation­al areas.

Dupont used mercury in its process of making synthetic fibre at the plant between 1929 and 1950, according to the state Department of Environmen­tal Quality.

Strict storage and disposal regulation­s weren’t in place at the time, and some of the mercury seeped into the South River and flowed downstream to the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.

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