(New York, N.Y. – Jan. 8, 2015) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company (DuPont), has been fined $531,000 for alleged Clean Air Act violations at its chemical manufacturing plant in Deepwater, New Jersey.
The EPA fined DuPont for improper maintenance and repair of two large refrigeration units. When properly maintained, the systems are designed to minimize chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from leaking into the environment. CFCs damage the ozone layer, which shields the earth from harmful radiation that contributes to increased skin cancer.
The company also failed to accurately submit reports to EPA under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
“CFCs deplete the ozone layer and this destruction has been clearly linked to an increase in people getting skin cancer,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “As the ozone gets thinner, more harmful ultraviolet rays reach the Earth’s surface and put people’s health at risk.”
The 1,455-acre DuPont Chambers Works Complex is located along the eastern shore of the Delaware River in Deepwater, New Jersey. The site began industrial activities in 1892. Since then, manufacturing of dyes, freon, tetraethyl lead and chemicals took place at the site. The two large refrigeration units have a capacity of 3,000 pounds of CFCs and are used in the company’s chemical manufacturing process.
In addition to paying $531,000, DuPont corrected the problems in its leak detection program and will comply with reporting requirements, as the law requires.
The proposed settlement was lodged with the United States District Court for the State of New Jersey, and is subject to a 30-day public comment period. Comments may be submitted either by e-mail or by mail:
Assistant Attorney General
U.S. DOJ – ENRD
P.O. Box 7611
Washington, D.C. 20044-7611
During the public comment period, the Consent Decree may be examined and downloaded at this Justice Department website: http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html