Charleston Gazette (West Virginia)
June 24, 2005
DuPont-DEP meeting on Wood C8 dump set
By Ken Ward Jr.
West Virginia Environmental Quality Board members have scheduled
another meeting to try to get some answers about changes to a
permit for a DuPont Co. industrial waste dump in Wood County.
On Thursday, the board announced that the meeting will be July
Board members have asked lawyers for DuPont and the state Department
of Environmental Protection to attend.
“We’re just trying to get ourselves a little better
educated,” said Ed Snyder, the board chairman. “We’re
just making sure we do our homework.
“When you get something that is a hot-button item, you
want to be even more thoughtful than usual,” Snyder said.
Last month, the DEP and DuPont proposed to rewrite portions of
the water pollution and waste management permits for the company’s
Dry Run landfill.
The 17-acre dump, about four miles southwest
of the community of Lubeck, is at the center of a controversy
over the toxic chemical C8. Since the dump was opened in 1984,
DuPont has disposed of large amounts of C8-contaminated wastes
in the Dry Run facility.
By April 1990, DuPont tests confirmed that C8 was leaching from
the landfill into Dry Run Creek at concentrations as high as 1.6
parts per million — more than 100 times the company’s
own limit for C8 in water of 1 part per billion. The most recent
data on file with the DEP shows C8 concentrations of more than
80 parts per billion.
Fueled in large part by internal DuPont documents uncovered by
lawyers for Wood County residents, the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency began a detailed study of the chemical and sued DuPont
for allegedly hiding information about the C8’s dangers.
In its lawsuit last July, the EPA alleged that DuPont had caused
“widespread contamination” and created a “substantial
risk of injury to health or the environment.”
Permits for the Dry Run landfill were last renewed in April 1998,
and formally expired in April 2003. DEP officials “extended”
that expiration date 10 times over the following two years, before
formally renewing the permits for another five years.
When the DEP renewed the permits in early March, the agency tightened
toxicity testing requirements and toughened language for when
DuPont would have its C8 discharged capped.
Now, the DEP is dropping those provisions, in response to a company
appeal that alleged they were overly stringent.
To contact staff writer Ken Ward Jr., use e-mail or call 348-1702.