DuPont withholds crucial information regarding the proposed sale of Washington Works plant
PARKERSBURG, WV – With a proposed spinoff of its chemicals business looming in the weeks ahead, Keep Your Promises is demanding that DuPont release the documents that will show how the environmental damages caused by the company will be addressed following the sale. DuPont has closely guarded the details of the spinoff of its Performance Chemicals division, which includes Parkersburg’s Washington Works plant. In a recent SEC filing, DuPont provided incomplete information about what will happen to the environmental and litigation liabilities for which the company is currently responsible. Many of these liabilities stem from DuPont’s contamination of drinking water in the Mid-Ohio Valley with the chemical C-8.
As part of its plan to create the new company, to be called Chemours, DuPont has prepared documents including a Separation Agreement that specify all of its environmental liabilities and how the liabilities will be transferred. None of this information was reported in its February filing with the Security and Exchange Commission.
“The situation with this spinoff bears an eerie resemblance to past attempts by companies to avoid responsibility for environmental damages they caused,” said Keep Your Promises advisory committee member Joe Kiger. “For example, Kerr-McGee’s spinoff of Tronox in 2006 was ruled by a judge as a fraudulent attempt to avoid environmental responsibilities.”
The potential risk is not just in the Mid-Ohio Valley. Other communities that will be affected by this spinoff and any negative environmental consequences include Harrison County, WV, Edgemoor, DE, Deepwater, NJ, Wayne County, GA, Fayetteville, NC, and Pompton Lakes, NJ, among others.
“We can’t know for sure how this spinoff will affect our community until we have access to the documents DuPont has kept secret that could give us the details of the split,” said Kiger. “DuPont needs to stop this secrecy so that we know that we will not be left in the lurch when they leave town later this year.”