The Environmental Protection Agency reached a $16.5 million settlement yesterday with chemical maker DuPont, which the agency said had failed to report information about health and environmental risks of PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), a chemical used to make Teflon and other plastics. The settlement includes $10.25 million in fines and a commitment from DuPont to spend another $6.25 million on environmental projects. According to the EPA, the fine is the largest administrative penalty it has ever imposed.
The agency said DuPont had withheld information about PFOA's risks from residents near a company plant in Parkersburg, WV. According to the EPA, Dupont had such information as early as 1981, but did not report it, as required by the federal Toxic Substances Control Act. The chemical has since contaminated local waters. A DuPont spokesperson said the company had interpreted the reporting requirements differently from the EPA, and admitted no liability in the case.