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DuPont, Chemours settle PFOA cases for $670 million

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via EPA
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DuPont's Washington Works plant in Parkersburg, W.Va., made Teflon agent PFOA for years. Neighbors say it poisoned their water supply and gave them diseases like cancer. The plant no longer makes PFOA and is now run by Chemours.

DuPont and its spinoff, Chemours, will pay $670.7 million to settle the roughly 3,500 lawsuits alleging the dumping of chemicals caused cancer in nearby communities.

Each company will cover half of the payout without admitting any fault or negligence in the unloading of PFOA, also known as C-8, in the Ohio River Valley.

That’s the chemical DuPont formerly used to bind the nonstick material Teflon to cooking products and other surfaces, manufacturing it at its Washington Works plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia.

For the next five years, Chemours is also responsible for the first $25 million of any further claims. If the total exceeds that, DuPont will pay up to another $25 million per year.

An expose in the New York Times Magazine last year reported DuPont knew through secret health studies in the ‘50s and ‘60s that PFOA caused cancer in lab animals and birth defects in children.

The story also outlined how the chemical proliferated, with scientists finding it in 94 percent of water districts in 27 states.

The Environmental Protection Agency found high concentrations of PFOA in Wilmington and New Castle County, according to the report.

Last month, a federal jury in Ohio ruled against the chemical company, awarding $12.5 million in damages to a former worker who argued PFOA exposure led to his kidney cancer diagnosis.

Past settlements have also cost DuPont millions of dollars in court.

As of midmorning Monday, Chemours stock skyrocketed 17 percent to $32.36 a share.

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