January 6, 2006
The Marietta Times (Ohio)
DuPont gives to Wood schools
PARKERSBURG — Wood County Schools will receive $1.25 million
over the next three years as part of DuPont’s C8 settlement
with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The money comes with strings attached, however, requiring the
school district to use the funds to create eco-friendly lessons
for junior- and senior-high school chemistry classes.
No school districts in Washington County will receive money from
the settlement, although significant portions of C8 were located
in both Belpre and Little Hocking.
This decision was part of the confidential settlement agreement
between DuPont and the U.S. EPA, an EPA official said Thursday.
No further information about why Washington County districts weren’t
included was available.
In December, DuPont agreed to pay $10.25 million in fines and
$6.25 million for environmental projects as part of a settlement
with the government agency. The EPA had alleged the company hid
information about the dangers of a chemical used in the manufacture
About $1.25 million of the project money was earmarked for a
supplemental environmental project in Wood County Schools. The
money will pay for micro-scale chemistry and green chemistry programs
in the district’s junior high and high schools.
"We are very excited to be partnering with Wood County Schools,"
said Robin Ollis, spokeswoman for DuPont Washington Works. "We
think this will have a positive impact on students and their scientific
backgrounds for many, many years."
Superintendent Bill Niday said he was very surprised to hear
of the project money and had to ask Ollis to repeat herself when
she first called with the news.
"We certainly didn’t expect to be a beneficiary in
this process," Niday said, "but I think this will be
a wonderful addition for the schools and will also benefit the
Ollis said the program money was included in the company’s
agreement with the EPA because both organizations wanted to somehow
benefit both education and environmental awareness.
"It was a way for the EPA and the company to specifically
target areas of mutual interest," she said.
Both programs are designed to promote safe, environmentally friendly
scientific lesson plans.