Chemours’ pledge to pay for the installation of filtration systems in Vienna is a step in the right direction that will protect thousands of residents from harmful C8 exposure. While we at Keep Your Promises DuPont recognize that fact, we must also recognize that there is still an enormous amount of work to be done to undo the decades of damage DuPont knowingly inflicted on generations of West Virginians and Ohioans. Chemours’ agreement to filter Vienna’s water must be the beginning of a long process – a process that must end with DuPont filtering all of the water it contaminated in the Mid-Ohio Valley and beyond, providing medical monitoring for affected populations, and compensating those harmed.
EPA’s new standard for C8 must be recognized for what it is: a long-awaited health advisory that does not reflect the latest science on C8. The leading research on the chemical points to an acceptable level of 0.001 ppb. As such, lowering the guideline to 0.07 parts per billion is a meaningful but ultimately insufficient step toward protecting our families, friends, and neighbors. Until EPA sets an adequate guideline, 0.07 ppb will remain a half-measure.
That drinking water is contaminated with C8 in Vienna, Boaz, Parkersburg, Martinsburg, and other communities in West Virginia and Ohio should come as no surprise to DuPont.
DuPont has known for decades about the contamination. Ten years ago, in the Leach settlement, DuPont agreed to a level of 0.05 ppb, knowing full well that EPA’s guideline at the time, 0.4 ppb, was not nearly strict enough – nor was it intended as a long-term exposure guideline.
DuPont has known for decades that C8 is harmful to health. Since the 1960s, the company ran tests on animals and its own workers to determine C8’s health effects, and internal reports show that DuPont recognized the dangers of C8 exposure. Yet DuPont has refused to step up to the plate to provide clean drinking water, medical monitoring, and compensation for the unwitting victims of the company’s reckless behavior.
Keep Your Promises has been fighting for a simple goal: to get clean drinking water for Mid-Ohio Valley communities, to ensure medical monitoring for affected individuals, and to ensure compensation for victims of DuPont’s C8 contamination. The bottom line is that DuPont knowingly contaminated our communities with a chemical they knew was harmful. Filtering Vienna’s water is a step in the right direction, but the company must do much, much more to rectify what they’ve done to our communities. DuPont must be held accountable before it’s too late.
Keep Your Promises DuPont Advisory Committee