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Safety

Chemical Spills Will Cost DuPont $3.5 Million

by Glenn Hess
September 8, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 36

DuPont will pay a fine of $1.275 million to settle a federal complaint about eight chemical releases from its Belle, W.Va., production facility, one of which killed a worker. The chemical giant also agreed to spend approximately $2.3 million to improve safety and emergency response processes at the plant. On Jan. 22, 2010, facility operators discovered that more than 2,000 lb of methyl chloride had been released into the atmosphere, according to EPA. A day later, the toxic gas oleum leaked out of a pipe at the site. Shortly thereafter, a worker was killed when a hose containing the toxic gas phosgene ruptured. EPA says the accident occurred because of “DuPont’s failure to comply with industry accident prevention procedures.” DuPont expressed regret for the death of its employee and promised tighter controls. “We remain committed to meeting all regulatory requirements and operating at the highest standards for protection of our employees, contractors, community, and the environment,” the company says.

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