MARIETTA, Ohio – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed a lawsuit against DuPont for allegedly releasing toxic chemicals into the Ohio River for many years.
The lawsuit was filed Feb. 8 in Washington County Common Pleas Court against E.I. Du Pont de Nemours and Co. and the Chemours Company.
DuPont allegedly released perfluorooctanoic, which is also known as PFOA or C8, from its Washington Works Plant in Parkersburg for decades, even after its own internal research and medical staff concluded that the chemical was toxic to humans and the environment.
“DuPont has caused widespread PFOA contamination in Ohio as a result of the decades-long, intentional release of massive amounts of PFOA into the environment,” the complaint states. “Indeed, DuPont freely admits that it discharged PFOA into the environment from its Washington Works manufacturing facility directly across the Ohio River…”
PFOA was used to make Teflon products until 2013. DeWine said his office believes DuPont continued to release the chemical after that.
“We believe the evidence shows that DuPont kept releasing this chemical even though it knew about the harm it could cause,” DeWine said in a press release. “We believe DuPont should pay for any damage it caused, and we’re taking this action to protect Ohio, its citizens, and its natural resources.”
Instead of notifying the community or taking steps to reduce the risk, DuPont allegedly increased its use of PFOA, releasing more PFOA into the air, water and land around the plant and contaminating soil and water in Ohio, according to the suit.
A 2017 University of Cincinnati study, which analyzed blood samples collected between 1991 and 2012, found that residents of the Mid-Ohio River Valley had elevated levels of PFOA.
DeWine claims DuPont negligently caused environmental contamination and created a public nuisance by allowing PFOA to enter air, soil and water in Ohio.
PFOA has been linked to health problems in humans, including kidney and testicular cancer, thyroid disease, low birth weight and high cholesterol, according to the suit.
Washington County Common Pleas Court case number: 180T32