DuPont To Pay Penalty For Excessive Mercury Discharges In Kinston

DuPont has been ordered to pay $59,000 for mercury discharges at it's Kinston plant.

The Environmental Protection Agency says the penalty is part of a settlement with DuPont at the polymer fiber manufacturing facility on Highway 11.

The EPA says DuPont discharged levels of mercury in excess of permitted levels between September 2008 and March 2009. The discharge went into the Neuse River, and the EPA says it was 8-1/2 times the allowed amount.

Mercury, according to the EPA, is a dangerous pollutant, especially for children and pregnant women.

The EPA says in April 2009 they told DuPont to submit a Corrective Action Plan to prevent further violations and the feds says the company has complied with that enforcement order.

We also contacted DuPont about the situation and received this statement from them:

"We take our responsibility to protect the environment very seriously. This issue involved a concrete pipe that had separated at several joints due to settling over time. The separations allowed groundwater with low levels of mercury to enter the storm water piping system. This was an issue that DuPont inherited after we re-acquired the Kinston site in July 2008. EPA had originally notified the former Site Owner about the violation. The former Site Owner notified DuPont when they received the letter which was after the re-acquisition. As soon as DuPont Kinston learned about the problem, the Site immediately began working with the NCDNER to take the necessary steps to identify the source and mitigate it. DuPont Kinston had already started working with NCDNER prior to DuPont receiving the notice of violation letter from EPA.

We have cooperated fully with NCDNER and the EPA to fix this problem. The work was completed in August 2009."

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