DuPont Will Pay $50M for Mercury Contamination

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe gestures during a news conference at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. McAuliffe announced a proposed $50 million settlement to resolve claims stemming from the release of mercury from the former E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) facility in Waynesboro, Virginia.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe gestures during a news conference at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. McAuliffe announced a proposed $50 million settlement to resolve claims stemming from the release of mercury from the former E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) facility in Waynesboro, Virginia.
AP Photo

WAYNESBORO, Va. (AP) — Chemical company DuPont will pay about $50 million under an environmental settlement that aims to make up for decades of mercury pollution one of its factories released into the South River in Virginia.

A federal judge approved the deal between Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont Co. and the state and federal government last week. Court documents say it's the largest natural resources damages settlement in Virginia history.

It includes more than $42 million for natural resource restoration projects, including fishing improvements and land protection. The company will also restore a fish hatchery, likely to cost $7 million to $8 million, and reimburse some government assessment expenses.

Officials have said mercury from a Waynesboro plant seeped into the South River and flowed downstream to the South Fork Shenandoah River and Shenandoah River.

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