BELLE, W.Va. — DuPont will pay a penalty of $1.25 million and spend at least another $2.2 million for required improvements to safety and emergency response in a settlement with the federal EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice.
The federal agencies issued a joint release Wednesday to announce the settlement. The case involved eight alleged releases of harmful levels of material between May 2006 and January 2010 at DuPont’s Belle plant in Kanawha County. Federal investigators said the releases posed significant risk to residents and the Kanawha River.
One DuPont employee was killed when exposed to phosgene gas after a hose on a holding tank ruptured on January 23, 2010. DuPont was issued an administrative order to take corrective action related to the incident. The company estimated it had spent more than $6.8 million already to comply with the order.
The settlement included requirements for the company to improve safety and emergency response procedures and processes at it’s Belle operations.