According to the agreement, the companies Dupont, Corteva, and Chemours agreed to pay $50 million for environmental restoration, improvement, sampling and analysis, community environmental justice, and equity grants.
The three companies will fund up to an additional $25 million if they settle similar claims with other states for more than $50 million, reported Delaware Business Now News.
The agreement resolves the companies’ responsibility for damages caused by the release of compounds including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
The settlement is a result of an investigation into the environmental impacts of legacy activities in Delaware led by the Attorney General’s Office, particularly its impacts on the state’s drinking water.
According to the settlement, DuPont and Corteva will each contribute $12.5 million and Chemours will pay out $25 million, reported Delaware Business News Now. The companies have each released statements in support of the settlement agreement, exclaiming that this could not have been achieved without a commitment to the state.
“We all need to work collaboratively, fervently, and quickly to restore our natural resources and support our most vulnerable communities,” said Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings in a statement, reported Delaware Business Now News. “Today’s agreement moves us miles ahead in that work. This is the most significant environmental settlement that the State of Delaware has ever secured, and it is being delivered on a timeline that matches the urgency of this moment. The real work still lies ahead, but I am grateful that everyone came to the table to chart a constructive path forward for Delaware, and I commit that our office will keep working to ensure justice – including environmental justice – for everyone in this state.”
According to the settlement, the funds will be administered by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and the Department of Public Health.
They will be used for, according to Delaware Online/The News Journal:
- Purifying drinking water and restoring natural resources, including wildlife, habitats, and aquatic resources;
- Environmental sampling and testing to ascertain the presence of PFAS and other contaminants in the ground, water, and air;
- Research and development, with a focus on PFAS detection and abatement technologies;
- And community environmental justice and equity grants, including funding for community health clinics and initiatives in communities located near industrial and manufacturing areas known to be impacted by PFAS contamination.
In an interview with Delaware Online/The News Journal, Jennings added that "it really doesn’t matter who you are, what your corporate name is or what you’ve done in the state of Delaware. It’s not OK to either break the law or do damage to our citizens."