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Company: DuPont
Subject: Costs of Cleaning Up PFOA
Year: 2007
Sector: Chemical Production
Lead Filer: USW Members
Outcome: Vote: 6.2%

RESOLVED: Shareholders request the Board of Directors to report by the 2008 shareholder meeting, at reasonable cost and excluding confidential information, its annual expenditures for each year from 1996 through 2006, on attorney’s fees, expert fees, lobbying, and public relations/media expenses, relating to DuPont’s environmental pollution with PFOA and related fluorocarbon compounds or by dioxins, as well as expenditures on actual remediation of contaminated sites.

Supporting Statement
In recent years, several DuPont facilities have been alleged to cause environmental contamination with dioxins or PFOA. The proponents believe this may pose an increasingly costly burden on our company.

Full text:

Based on reports submitted under USEPA’s Toxic Release Inventory, DuPont is the company with the nation’s largest emissions of dioxin and dioxin-like compounds. The company’s three U.S. titanium dioxide facilities rank in the top four for disposal and release of dioxins among all U.S. companies.

In 2005, DuPont notified workers at its DeLisle, MS titanium dioxide plant of possible exposure to dioxins, particularly TCDD, the most toxic form of dioxin (classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a human carcinogen). In the same year, DuPont paid $15.5 million in damages to an oyster fisherman who alleged that his rare blood cancer was caused by TCDD contamination from the DeLisle plant. The lawsuit was one of 1,995 claims filed in connection with dioxin from the DeLisle plant.

During 2006, DuPont faced numerous developments alleging environmental contamination with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the controversial chemical used in production of Teflon and other DuPont products, including:

March: A report by the United Steelworkers alleged PFOA discharges into the James River from the Spruance plant in Richmond, Virginia.

April: A class action lawsuit was filed in Deepwater, NJ over PFOA-contaminated water in the Delaware River from the Chambers Works plant. The suit seeks medical monitoring for residents, a community-wide water filtration system and punitive damages.

July: PFOA was found in drinking water samples, and in streams, near DuPont’s Parlin, NJ plant… PFOA was reported detected in monitoring wells at DuPont’s plant in Fayetteville, NC, in the blood of DuPont workers and in a drinking well one mile from the plant site.

October: A community health study indicated that thousands of Parkersburg, W.Va-area residents have significant levels of PFOA in their blood. The study was paid for through a prior settlement of a suit against our company alleging water contamination in the Parkersburg area… Reported investigations by DuPont and government agencies confirmed PFOA groundwater and surface water discharges from DuPont’s Richmond Virginia plant…Residents of the Pascagoula, MS community challenged the permit for DuPont to dispose of PFOA in public waters at its First Chemical facility. PFOA contamination of groundwater under the plant in effluent had been found in the company’s own investigation.

VOTE YES on this resolution, to provide shareholders with information needed to evaluate trends in our company’s expenditures on remediation, lobbying and fees related to environmental pollution.