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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by AC Location: Eastern NC on Jun 16, 2010 at 10:01 AM
    I worked at the plant during part of this time and the total amount of mercury released during this time span is less than is enclosed in a baby thermometer. Or a dozen flouresent tubes. And .012 micrograms is less that is allowed in your well water. Most of you throw away more mecury every yearin your household trash than was released.
  • by NS Location: Greenville on Jun 15, 2010 at 07:02 PM
    This sounds like a "small" version of the BP oil spill-private company polutes river. Was the national guard called out? Did the President visit? NO-this is Dupont's responsibility! It may be on a larger scale, but the oil spill is BP's reponsibility-not the taxpayers', not congress's, not the President's. While we are ripping our leaders apart, La. citizens are fussing to "drill, baby, drill" some more. Are we (all US citizens) to become an insurance company for those states who allow this? No. I deplore the tragedy in La., eleven people lost their lives, but until the actual people involved are willing to make changes to avoid it happening again, there is really nothing else we can do. We must start holding these industries accountable!
  • by Heavy metal pollution Location: enc on Jun 15, 2010 at 04:44 PM
    Excuses do not make the grade DuPont.
  • by Guess Who on Jun 15, 2010 at 04:19 PM
    You are afraid to post my comment about the DUPONT PLANT MANAGER giving his blessing to dumping the chemicals because we know nothing goes on in the plant without him knowing and we all know that it is cheaper to pay the finds than to despose of it the way it should have been.....
  • by Clifton Location: Washington on Jun 15, 2010 at 02:39 PM
    It's nice to know that there is a safe amount of mercury that can be let into the waterways of the US. WHO is the idiot that determined what the safe amount of mercury could be put into any waterway???? I guess it's ok if i dump 10 or 12 car batteries overboard.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 15, 2010 at 02:34 PM
    makes you want to rethink about those massive fish kills we had during the exact same time... hmmm no investigations into that though...
  • by Anonymous on Jun 15, 2010 at 02:11 PM
    This is so nice to hear. This should never happen.
  • by rick on Jun 15, 2010 at 01:52 PM
    59k , that is a joke , need some more 0"s , to stop the waste going in to the river , start testing in their back yard , the creeks , and see what you find , clean it up for our kids
  • by Pirate91 Location: FL on Jun 15, 2010 at 01:22 PM
    I worked at that plant from '94-'99 and I know they have been getting by for a long time.
  • by AirBorne Ranger Location: Eastern NC on Jun 15, 2010 at 01:04 PM
    How many times has this happened before and Dupont didn't get caught. Who knows what is seeping into the groud water from all the stuff buried on the property. It had a "Research" lab on the sight for many years. What kind of chemicals were used and where was it disposed at. No one knows what is really buried out behind the main building in the woods. It's time to 'fess-up' Dupont and come clean. I would love to hear what the good ole boy plant manager says now.
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