DuPont is facing a $531,000 fine for Clean Air Act violations at its chemical manufacturing plant in Deepwater, NJ, federal officials said.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fined DuPont for improper maintenance and repair of two large refrigeration units. When properly maintained, the systems should minimize chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from leaking into the environment. CFCs damage the ozone layer, which shields the earth from harmful radiation that contributes to increased skin cancer. The company also failed to accurately submit reports to EPA under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
“CFCs deplete the ozone layer and this destruction has been clearly linked to an increase in people getting skin cancer,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “As the ozone gets thinner, more harmful ultraviolet rays reach the Earth’s surface and put people’s health at risk.”
The 1,455-acre DuPont Chambers Works Complex is right along the eastern shore of the Delaware River in Deepwater. The site began industrial activities in 1892. Since then, manufacturing of dyes, freon, tetraethyl lead and chemicals took place at the site. The two large refrigeration units have a capacity of 3,000 pounds of CFCs and see use in the company’s chemical manufacturing process.
In addition to paying $531,000, DuPont corrected the problems in its leak detection program and will comply with reporting requirements, as the law requires.