Chairman Rouda Seeks Information on Continued Detection of Cancer Causing PFAS Chemicals at DuPont and Chemours Facilities

Oct 21, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Oct. 21, 2020)—Today, Rep. Harley Rouda, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment, sent a letter to Marc Doyle, the CEO of DuPont de Nemours (DuPont), Inc. and Mark Verganano, the President and CEO of the Chemours Company (Chemours) to request information regarding continued use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as c8 or ammonium perfluorooctanoate, at the Chemours Company (formerly DuPont) Washington Works facility in Parkersburg, West Virginia, the DuPont Circleville Works plant in Circleville, Ohio, or any other facility in the United States.

 

“The continued presence of PFOA at your facilities in the quantities reported to EPA is alarming, and the Subcommittee remains concerned about PFAS contamination throughout the United States, in communities like Parkersburg, West Virginia which have been exposed to PFOA for decades, and the adverse health outcomes associated with exposure to PFAS,” said Chairman Rouda.

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that exposure to PFAS chemicals has been linked to increased risk of certain cancers, birth defects, and other negative health effects.  A peer-reviewed study conducted by scientists at the Environmental Working Group found evidence of widespread water contamination from PFAS chemicals across the country and estimated that more than 200 million Americans may be exposed to these substances in their drinking water.

 

Today’s letter raises concerns about ongoing detections of PFOA in areas surrounding the Chemours Company (formerly DuPont) Washington Works facility in Parkersburg, West Virginia and the DuPont Circleville Works plant in Circleville, Ohio.  Although the Washington Works facility was previously owned by DuPont, when Chemours was created in 2015 as a spin-off of DuPont’s chemical division, it appeared that Chemours continued with the commitment not to use PFOA in any of its operations, and the Chemours’ website claims that the company “has never made or used PFOA.”

 

However, EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance History Online data indicates that, even in 2019, PFOA has been detected at the Washington Works and DuPont Circleville Works facilities.

 

Last year, Chairman Rouda held a hearing with officials from Chemours and DuPont on the steps that need to be taken to hold industry accountable for their past efforts to conceal the science linking PFAS chemicals to health risks.  At the hearing, Chemours testified to the Subcommittee that Chemours never used PFOA and DuPont voiced agreement with legislation that stated that PFOA should be designated a hazardous substance under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.

 

Today’s letter requests the CEOs provide the Subcommittee with all documents and information relating to the current use of PFAS chemicals at their facilities by November 6, 2020.

 

Click here to read today’s letter.

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116th Congress