Last week the Southern District of Ohio held that air emissions from DuPont’s Teflon production operations at its Washington Works Facility in West Virginia, which landed on a water supplier’s wellfield and contaminated the soil and groundwater, constituted disposal of solid waste under RCRA.
The plaintiff, a nonprofit water supplier, sued DuPont in a citizen suit for “imminent and substantial endangerment” under RCRA, 42 U.S.C. § 6972(a)(1)(B). The plaintiff claimed that Teflon production operations at DuPont’s Washington Works Facility in West Virginia produced air emissions that landed on the plaintiff’s wellfield, polluting the land and groundwater beneath it. The alleged hazardous wastes emitted by DuPont’s operations were perfluorooctanoic acid (C8) and other perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). DuPont used C8 in its manufacturing processes from 1951 until it was finally phased out completely in June 2013. DuPont did not contest either the fact that it released C8 or the amount of C8 it released through its air emissions. Instead, DuPont argued that air emissions are not a disposal covered by RCRA. Continue Reading