A Blame-Shifting Train
The transactions that created Chemours and reinvented DuPont laid the groundwork for a blame-shifting train that has made it troublesome for regulators and others to carry anybody accountable for many years of contamination in North Carolina and elsewhere.
State attorneys basic in Ohio, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York every sued the businesses for having launched poisonous chemical substances into the air, water and soil and for concocting a by-product to defend DuPont from accountability. Dutch prosecutors started criminally investigating Chemours for using PFOA at a manufacturing facility in Dordrecht from 2008 to 2012, earlier than Chemours was created.
But in courts, within the media and in public settings, DuPont and Chemours have used the spinoff to distance themselves from the issues.
In a courtroom submitting in Ohio, the place the state has sued over air pollution from the Washington Works manufacturing facility on the West Virginia border, Chemours claimed that the contamination occurred earlier than “Chemours even got here into existence.” In a securities filing this summer season, Chemours said that it “doesn’t, and has by no means, used” PFOA. But Chemours continues to fabricate different variations of PFAS, together with GenX.
DuPont adopted an analogous stance. As a result of Chemours was impartial and had assumed accountability for Washington Works, DuPont claimed it had nothing to do with the air pollution. In reality, DuPont insisted, as a result of it was technically a brand new firm, it had by no means even made the poisonous substances in query.
In 2019, Chemours, deep in debt, sued DuPont. Chemours contended that the spinoff was conceived to get DuPont off the hook for its many years of air pollution. In accordance with the grievance, DuPont executives determined in opposition to a $60 million mission that may have stopped Fayetteville Works from discharging chemical substances into the Cape Concern River. As a substitute, DuPont executives made a $2 million change, which they deserted shortly earlier than they introduced the Chemours spinoff.
The lawsuit requested, “Why hassle spending cash to repair the issue, DuPont apparently reasoned, when it might be conveniently handed on to Chemours?”
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