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DuPont Washington Works Facility case settled

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Oct. 28 that DuPont has agreed to settle alleged Clean Air Act violations at DuPont's Washington Works Facility, in Wood County.

The company agreed to pay an $800,000 penalty and to improve hazardous air pollution controls.

A proposed settlement involving DuPont, the United States and the State of West Virginia was filed in federal district court by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.

The United States, on behalf of EPA, and West Virginia alleged several violations of leak detection and repair safeguards at DuPont's Washington Works Facility in a civil complaint filed with the proposed settlement.

The violations are alleged to have begun in 2007 included failure to monitor pumps, valves and connectors as well as failure to calibrate monitoring equipment, failure to identify and report equipment containing hazardous air pollutants, failure to close open-ended lines containing hazardous air pollutants and failure to conduct required pressure tests.

The $800,000 penalty will be divided equally between the United States and West Virginia. DuPont also will commission an independent, third-party leak detection and repair applicability audit of the facility and prepare a detailed leak detection and repair manual covering all regulated process units at the facility as well as a leak detection and repair training program.

The enforcement action is part of the EPA's national initiative to reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants by enforcing compliance with the Clean Air Act's leak detection and repair regulations.

The EPA has determined that leaking equipment, such as valves, pumps and connectors are the largest source of emissions of hazardous air emissions from chemical manufacturers and petroleum refineries. A facility that is subject to leak detection and repair requirements must monitor equipment containing hazardous air pollutants at regular intervals to identify leaks. Leaking components must promptly be repaired or replaced.