Chemical company E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company(known commonly as DuPont) will pay a $1.75 million civil penalty after unlawfully releasing hazardous substances in West Virginia, USA.
According to The Corporate Crime Reporter (CCR) One DuPont worker died after exposure to phosgene, a toxic gas released due to DuPont’s failure to comply with industry accident prevention procedures.
On January 22 2010, at DuPont’s chemical manufacturing plant in Belle, West Virginia, operators discovered that more than 2,000 pounds of methyl chloride had leaked into the atmosphere and employees failed to respond to alarms triggered by the release.
On the morning of January 23, workers discovered a leak in a pipe containing the toxic gas oleum. Later that day, a hose containing phosgene, a highly toxic gas, ruptured resulting in the fatality of a worker exposed to phosgene.
Under the terms of an agreement with state authorities, DuPont will implement a number of new safety procedures and spend approximately $2,276,000 to complete the required improvements to its safety and emergency response processes.
CCR goes on to say that previously, on March 18, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued an administrative order to DuPont to undertake corrective measures related to the releases. DuPont estimates that it has spent approximately $6,828,750 to comply with that administrative order.
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