Wednesday, March 19, 2003
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DuPont: C8 emissions to drop dramatically

By PAMELA BRUST

WASHINGTON - DuPont Washington Works plant officials reported the company expects to achieve more than a 90 percent reduction in total C8 emissions by the end of 2004.

In a media briefing Tuesday at the local plant, Paul J. Bossert Jr., plant manager, said efforts to handle, control and capture ammonium perfluorooctanoate, also known as C8, began long before an agreement was signed in 2001 with the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection and other state agencies. Bossert said efforts have been ongoing for the past 20 years, with the first piece of equipment going on line in the late 1980s to reduce emissions. The plant manager noted the company has spent more than $16 million to "remediate, capture and destroy, recycle C8.

"We can actually recycle it back into the process and use it over and over again because it is a processing aid," Bossert said. Washington Works uses C8 in the manufacture of fluoropolymer resins.

DuPont officials have repeatedly stated in more than 50 years of use, there are no known adverse health effects associated with exposure to the chemical.

Information provided by the plant shows 31,209 pounds of C8 were emitted into the atmosphere from the plant in 1999 and 55,597 pounds of the chemical were discharged into the Ohio River from the plant that same year. It is estimated due to improvement projects at the facility, the amount of C8 released into the air for 2002 was 14,480 pounds and 5,688 pounds was discharged into the river.

A class action lawsuit is pending in Wood County Circuit Court in which area residents allege the local DuPont plant knowingly discharged C8 into its water supplies in amounts exceeding the plant's own guidelines and that information was concealed from the public. Plaintiffs claim C8 exposure has made them ill, including increased risks of cancer and other diseases. They are seeking money from DuPont for medical testing, monitoring for possible health problems from their exposure to C8 and damages they claim were incurred for alleged injuries and property damage.

 








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