DuPont Settles N.C. Pollution Claims For $59K

Industrial giant has agreed to pay a $59,000 penalty for mercury discharges at its polymer fiber manufacturing facility in North Carolina.

KINSTON, N.C. (AP) -- Industrial giant DuPont Co. has agreed to pay a $59,000 penalty for mercury discharges at a North Carolina plant.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday the settlement relates to the company's polymer fiber manufacturing facility in Kinston.

The EPA says discharges at the plant exceeded permitted levels of mercury for eight months between September 2008 and March 2009.

A DuPont spokesman says the company inherited the problem from the site's previous owner and worked to fix it when it was discovered.

Stan Meiburg is the EPA's acting administrator for the region that includes North Carolina.

Meiburg says the settlement underscores the importance of the federal permitting process in protecting the water supply from dangerous chemicals like mercury.

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