Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

EPA Reaches New C8 Deal with DuPont

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

EPA Reaches New C8 Deal with DuPont

Article excerpt

Less than two weeks before the Obama administration leaves office, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday said it had reached a new agreement with DuPont Co. regarding pollution of drinking water in the Mid-Ohio Valley with the toxic chemical C8 from the company's manufacturing plant near Parkersburg. EPA said in a news release that it had amended its 2009 agreement with DuPont to reflect a lower level of C8 exposure recommended in an EPA health advisory issued last year. While more protective than the previous agreement with DuPont, the new number would allow larger exposures than outside scientists and regulatory experts in other states consider safe.

Exact implications of the new EPA agreement remain unclear. The EPA news release was posted on the agency's regional website. A complete copy of the EPA order was not immediately available. The EPA did provide what was described as an abbreviated version.

"We have been asking EPA and the state for quite some time to revise the old consent order to at least reflect the EPA's revised drinking water guidelines, said Rob Bilott, a lawyer for Mid-Ohio Valley residents. "We are pleased to hear that the old consent order is being revised, but hope to be able to receive and review a copy of the actual new order soon.

EPA said in its news release that the new order contains a revised "action level - triggering a requirement for alternative drinking water supplied by the company - of 0.07 parts per billion. This is compared to a 2009 order, which included an action level of 0.40 parts per billion.

The news release said that the new order also applies not just to DuPont, but to Chemours, a company spun off from DuPont that owns half of the Parkersburg plant. The news release said the new order also "expands the geographic areas covered by the agreement, but the release did not explain what exactly that means.

C8, which is also known as perfluorooctanoate acid, or PFOA, was made and used at DuPont's Washington Works plant south of Parkersburg as a processing agent to make Teflon and other nonstick products, oil-resistant paper packaging and stain-resistant textiles. …

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