Dupont: Largest natural resources settlement in Virginia history
The settlement is 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.
Over 100 miles of river and associated floodplain have been contaminated by mercury in the South River and South Fork Shenandoah River watershed.
In addition to a cash payment of just over $42 million, DuPont will fund the design and implementation of significant renovations at the Front Royal Fish Hatchery, estimated to cost up to $10 million.
The settlement terms are outlined in a proposed consent decree filed in federal court in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
DuPont will provide the funds to government natural resource trustees, who will oversee the implementation of projects compensating the public for the natural resource injuries and associated losses in ecological and recreational services, such as fishing access.
The trustees, through U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Commonwealth of Virginia, invite feedback on actions to restore the river and wildlife habitat and improve public lands and recreational resources.
A draft restoration plan and environmental assessment (RP/EA) was also released today for a 45-day public comment period.
The plan results from stakeholder meetings beginning in 2008 to determine how best to compensate the public for the injured natural resources and their uses. ■