According to press reports, this is the first time the state's Department of Justice has settled environmental damage claims on behalf of the state. According to the agency, the settlement will cover environmental restoration, rehabilitation, sampling, and analysis, as well as community environmental justice and equity awards and other natural resource requirements.
Each of DuPont and Corteva, which was originally DowDuPont's agriculture sector, would pay $12.5 million. Chemours, DuPont's former performance chemicals division, will make a $25 million contribution. Earlier this year, the three firms negotiated a cost-sharing arrangement. If they resolve comparable claims with other states for more than $50 million, they will receive an extra $25 million.
The agreement addresses their liability for the harm caused by releases of historical compounds such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. They include perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, which was formerly used to make Teflon and is now found in firefighting foam, water-resistant clothes, and a variety of other home and personal products. Because of their extended life in the environment, they are frequently referred to as "forever chemicals."
According to the department, the settlement is the outcome of an investigation undertaken by the attorney general's office into the environmental consequences of Delaware's legacy industrial operations. The inquiry is still underway, and the agency expects further recoveries from other parties or enforcement actions.
In a statement, Jennings said that this is the most substantial environmental settlement that the State of Delaware has ever won, and it is being delivered on a schedule that fits the urgency of this moment.
She said that it advances the state's efforts to restore natural resources and assist vulnerable communities.
Ed Breen, DuPont's Executive Chairman and CEO, said that without the goodwill and cooperation of all parties, this settlement would not have been possible. The Companies' more than 200-year relationship with the State, its people, and its economy is the source of that goodwill.
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