DuPont to pay Virginia $50 million in contamination case
The commonwealth will benefit from a $50 million settlement with DuPont stemming from the release of mercury from the company’s former Waynesboro plant, federal and state officials announced Thursday. They say the settlement with the chemical company would be the largest natural resources settlement in Virginia history.
Mercury released into the South River from the DuPont plant in the 1930s and 1940s continues to persist in the environment, according to the news release. More than 100 miles of river and associated floodplain have been contaminated by mercury in the South River and South Fork Shenandoah River watershed.
DuPont will provide the funds to government natural resource trustees, who will oversee the implementation of projects compensating the public for harm to the commonwealth natural resources and associated losses in ecological and recreational services, such as fishing access.
In addition to a cash payment of just over $42 million, DuPont will fund the design and implementation of significant renovations at the Front Royal Fish Hatchery, estimated to cost up to $10 million.
The settlement terms are outlined in a proposed consent decree filed in federal court in Harrisonburg on Thursday. The settlement is subject to final approval by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.